Sunday, 17 October 2010

A History of Computer Games Part One: 1950's–70's

Games in the 50's teh f*@%, there is a lot of crap floating in the world wide web and it's hard to point at who was the inventor of games so I'll just pick one I think is right. It's hard to believe that only 60 years ago video games where almost non-existent, then again a lot has happened in them 60 years, the only thing close was board games like checkers and snakes & ladders. Even at that many families couldn't afford such luxuries. My dad still remembers have to brush his teeth with soot from the chimney and all he got at Christmas was an apple and a sock.

Well apparently before Ralph Lauren and L'Oreal there was another guy called Ralph Baer who worked at Loral in 1951. Then another guy called Sam Slackoff...that makes me sound soooo lazy but honestly it's not me. I have strayed off the point like three times already, anywho, this Sam guy asked Ralphy boy to “Make an awesome TV like”. Ralphy thought that was as easy as forgetting to brush his teeth and then was all like “No way man, I is for building a games console”. Sam so didn't like the idea and so games stayed undiscovered. Personally I pity this Sam guy for having such a shit name, it would only be made worse if they named him Saliva Slackoff.
A year later A.S. Douglas, a student at the university of Cambridge created tic-tac-toe for his thesis on human – computer interaction, most likely the first game made with AI. Later in 1958 a guy called Willy Higginbotham (why don't we have names as epic as this anymore?) played around in his secret laboratory and came up with tennis for two using an oscilloscope as a monitor. But wait there's more, Ralphy was back with a vengeance in 1966 and had built a number of prototype games to show to TV manufactures. From these games there was a a pong type paddle game and a square chasing another delightfully droll. Finally all his hard work paid off and he was signed up to build more of these games consoles that would be released after the 1970's, hence I can't discuss in this blog... ARGH. In 1970 the father of Pong Nolan Bushnell made a game called Computer Space which was basically asteroids but it was too complicated and just awkward. The interesting thing about Bushnell is that at the age of fifteen his dad died and he inherited the family business which was...go on guess, you'll never get it, a theme park. So if you think we have it rough he was attending uni, also learning about computer graphics, playing the odd chess tournament and running a theme park. Bushnell would later found the renown Atari and create history.

                                                         My dad  (^_^)

My next blog will be longer it's just I don't want to write something that has been copied and pasted a million times already.

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