Saturday, 4 October 2008

A History of Computer Games 1950s - 1970s

Ok let’s see then, there are several people who would say that they created the first computer game, but in fact they only created a specific type of computer game.

The original concept for a computer game however was developed by a man named A.S Douglas who was a student at Cambridge University in 1952. For this PhD dissertation, he looked at ‘Human Computer Interaction’ and as a result he created the first graphical computer game, a version of tic-tac-toe (also called OXO). This was designed for an EDSAC vacuum tube computer using a cathode ray tube display. The player actually played against the computer incorporating basic Artificial Intelligence (AI), using a rotary dial

The first ever video game was ‘Tennis For Two’ created by American Physicist William Higinbotham who was also the head of the ‘Instrumentation Division’ at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1958, and was played on Brookhaven National Laboratory oscilloscope.

Steve Russell who is a computers scientist, created Spacewars in 1962, and was the first game intended for computer use. He used a MTI PDP-1 mainframe computer to design his game.

Ralph Baer wrote ‘Chase’ the first game to be played on a television in 1967, and surprisingly enough he got he idea whilst working for ‘Loral’ which now the world leading Space and Communication Company.

As for the Question ‘who decided to use computers to have fun?’ all I can really say is “All of the above”. These people all came from different backgrounds, from a student to a member of ‘Loral’, and all seemed to have a passion for using technology for entertainment purposes.

Oh by the way I have left the 70s for next weeks entry for the basic reason that the arcade games are the main topic and they came out around that time.