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  • Pranav Nandurkar

Do you know: World's First Computer and Video game

Games have always been a medium of entertainment for all of us.  But the history of video games goes back to the early 1950s. During this period computer scientists began designing simple games and simulations as part of their research or just for recreation. At M.I.T. in the 1960s, professors and students played games such as 3D tic-tac-toe and Moon Landing. These games were played on computers such as the IBM 1560, and moves were made using punch cards. Video games were not so popular until the 1970s and 1980s period when arcade video games, gaming consoles and home computer games were introduced to the general public. The period of 1970s was also termed as the era of mainframe computer games and the golden age of arcade video games was from 1978 to 1982. In 1958, William Higinbotham created the first true video game. His game, titled "Tennis for Two," but Pong is considered to be the first commercially successful video game, and it helped to establish the video game industry. And Spacewar is considered to be the first computer game. But do you know more about them? Here it is!

Spacewar -

The first computer game is generally assumed to be the game Spacewar!, developed in 1962 by Steve Russell in collaboration with Martin Graetz, Wayne Wiitanen, Bob Saunders, Steve Piner, and others. It originally ran on a PDP-1 (Programmed Data Processor-1) computer, the size of a large car. It was the first video game that could be played on multiple computer installations.  It was extremely popular in the small programming community in the 1960s and the public domain code was widely ported and recreated at other computer systems at the time  It has also been recreated in more modern programming languages for PDP-1 emulators. The game developer team includes - Steve Russell, then an employee at Harvard University and a former research assistant at MIT; Martin Graetz, a research assistant and former student at MIT; and Wayne Wiitanen, a research assistant at Harvard and former employee and student at MIT and these three came up with the idea of Spacewar!

Gameplay - Spacewar's gameplay consist of two monochrome spaceships called "the needle" and "the wedge", each controlled by a player, attempting to shoot one another while manoeuvring on a two-dimensional plane in the gravity well of a star, set against the backdrop of a starfield. The ships fire torpedoes, which are not affected by the gravitational pull of the star and have a limited number of torpedoes and supply of fuel, which is used when the player fires the ship's thrusters. The ships remain in motion even when the player is not accelerating, and rotating the ships does not change the direction of their motion, though the ships can rotate at a constant rate without inertia. Each player controls one of the ships and must attempt to shoot down the other ship while avoiding a collision with the star or the opposing ship. Player controls include clockwise and counterclockwise rotation, forward thrust, firing torpedoes, and hyperspace. Saunders created a detached control device, essentially an early gamepad which had a switch for turning left or right, another for forwarding thrust or hyperspace, and a torpedo launch button.

Pong -

Pong is a table tennis-themed arcade video game, originally released in 1972 is manufactured by Atari. Pong was the first commercially successful video game, and it helped to establish the video game industry along with the Magnavox Odyssey. Odyssey is considered as the very first home video game console which was manufactured by Magnavox and released in North America in September of 1972.  A video game console is an electronic or computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play through some type of game controller.  It was one of the earliest arcade video games; it was created by Allan Alcorn as a training exercise assigned to him by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell based the game's concept on an electronic ping-pong game included in the  Odyssey. Atari released several sequels to Pong that built upon the original's gameplay by adding new features. He even released a home version of Pong. By 1973, Atari began shipping Pong to other countries with the aid of foreign partners. Gameplay - Pong is a two-dimensional sports game that simulates table tennis. The player can control an in-game paddle by moving it vertically across the left or right side of the screen. The second player can control the other paddle opposite to it and can compete with each other. A player earns a point when one fails to return the ball to the other and each player goal is to score eleven points before the opponent.