Friday, September 28, 2018

The History of Video Games

Video Game Videogames Control Gamer GamepaDo you ever admit to playing video games?  Even as an adult?  I do but I tend to play word games because I find them a bit more fascinating.  However, I do like Angry Birds 2 enough to play it on a regular basis.  The only thing I hate is when it gets stuck due to not having an active internet connection at that moment.

We all know video games have been around for a while don't we?  I mean, many people's parents played those early games from the 1970's or so.  The one with the monkey who threw the banana!

However, did you know the first game was created in 1940 when Edward U. Condon built a computer that played Nim, a popular game of the time where players did not want to be the person taking the last matchstick.  He unveiled it at the Westinghouse display at the World's Fair.  It generated a lot of interest and tens of thousands of people played it but the computer won 90% of the games it played.

The next invention on this path happened when two men patented a cathode ray amusement device in 1947. They hooked a cathode ray to an oscilloscope so people could fire a gun at a target.  In 1950, one man wrote an article on programming a chess playing computer and then with another man, actually wrote the program so a compute could play chess.

In 1952, someone at Cambridge programmed a computer to play tic-tac-toe as part of his research on human-computer interactions.  Just two years later, programmers at Los Alamos programed an IBM computer to play black jack.  Then three years later, the United States government used computers to play war games as a way of checking out possibilities of the United States against the Soviet Union.

In 1956, one of the programmers demonstrated a computer playing checkers on television.  It was only six years later, the computer beat a checkers master.  Over the next few years, people improved the chess programs so the computer could think several moves ahead, created a tennis game that predated pong, a maze game where a mouse worked its way through a maze to find the cheese at the end, a baseball game, a simulation of the global cold war, until 1962 when a student at MIT created Spacewar!, the first real computer based video game.

In 1964, the programming language BASIC made its appearance. This language allowed people to easily create video games and soon games were being published.  Within the next few years, the first box video game and the interactive television games made an appearance taking us one step closer to the modern video game.

In 1971, the first educational video game, The Oregon Trail, hit the market.  Many of you know the game and have played it when you were in school.  Video games development continued, bridging out to computer based role playing games, video game boxes and arcade games evolved, games became multiplayer, and even the movies joined the trend with Disney's Tron.

As cell phones and digital devices evolved and became more available, video games soon moved over to digital devices until everyone has the ability to play video games.  In addition, some games such as Pokeman Go have embraced using Augmented Reality to add a different element to the game. 

Furthermore, many traditional games such as pinochle and backgammon have shifted to being played on mobile devices.These games have come so far over the past 70 plus years so know you can play alone or with people half way across the world as if they are in the next room over.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.


  1. Oh nice history about video games... I've heard the first few games were some racing car game ... that is to avoid car kinda game...

    1. Thank you for stopping by to check it out. I wondered about games since someone said one of the earliest was a monkey throwing a banana. I wanted to know. Have a great day.