The Tennis for two game which is played on an oscilloscope screen
Image of the Tennis for Two Development table, the location of the game and its development space
In 1962 a Group of computer programmers lead by Steve Russell created Spacewar, which was the first ever, well known video computer game. The games’ development took over 200 hours “man-hours” and was created on a Digital Equipment Corporation interactive mini computer which only had keyboard input
, the machine was given to Steve giving the idea that he would create something remarkable with it, thus the creation of space war.
Steve never profited from the game even though the computer it was designed on was sold with the intention of playing the game. Steven later went on in life to teach computer game programming to Atari owner Nolan Bushnell. Who then went on to start the arcade games’ golden age.
Spacewar was a two-player game of which the goal was to destroy the other players ship whilst avoiding the gravitational pull of the sun (in the middle of the screen). The ships shot photon torpedoes that would destroy the other players ship in one hit making the game skill/luck based.
An image of Spacewar played at a workstation
An image of Spacewar being played.
In 1971 Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney created Computer Space based off Nolan’s tutor and idol Steve Russell’s Spacewar. A year later Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney created Pong, which shared a familiar resemblance to William Higginbotham’s Tennis for two.
After creating pong the two developers went on to create their own (currently well know) company called Atari. Atari went on to then re-release pong as a home video game creating the first personal computer game available for the general consumer. Just after the creation of the company The Atari Company was then sold to Warner Communications for $28 million in 1975 and then later was sold to Jack Tramiel after generating losses of $533 million out of $415 million profit
, generating a $118 million in losses.
In its later life Atari suffered from a lawsuit by Nintendo in 1992. It then went on to end its life as a company in 1998 and all its assets were then sold to Hasbro, ending its cycle.
The Golden Age
The golden age of the Arcade took place in the late 1970s through to the 1980s, an age of flawless games and the start to a future of the video game genres and graphics. The Golden Age started with the world famous Space Invaders released by Nintendo in 1978 with over 350,000 machines sold over its lifetime.
Space invaders then lead Namco to then release Pac-man in 1980 another globally known game. In 1981 SEGA releases Frogger a game which influenced many different versions and re-skins of the same game, in the same year Donkey Kong is released and 60,000 units are sold to America for $180 million.
The Present Day
Arcade games in the present day have dwindled they are using modern age technology but do not have as much playability as the retro style games such as space invaders, pong and Pinball
, although some of those machines are still around they are not used and in there stead are games such as House of the dead and Dance Dance revolution, repayable games but at a high cost and just used for a profit.
The Official Atari Logo