December 1, 2022


healthy part of faith

History of Video Games

3 min read
History of Video Games ยป Utica Public Library

The answer: That question, like many others in life, has no simple answer. It all depends on how you define the word “video game.” Consider the following scenario: Do you mean the first commercially produced video game, the first console game, or the first digitally programmed game when you say “the first video game”? As a result, I compiled a list of 4-5 video games that were, in some way, beginners in the video gaming industry. You’ll find that the first video games were not made with the intention of making money (back in those decades there was no Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Sega, Atari, or any other video game company around). Indeed, the concept of a “video game” or an electronic device designed solely for the purpose of “playing games and having fun” was beyond the comprehension of over 99 percent of the population at the time. However, we can now enjoy several hours of fun and entertainment thanks to this small group of geniuses who pioneered the video gaming revolution (keeping aside the creation of millions of jobs during the past 4 or 5 decades).

This is the first electronic game device ever made (according to official documentation). Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann designed it. In the 1940s, the game was put together and a patent application was filed in January 1947. The patent was awarded in December 1948, making it the first patent for an electronic game device (US Patent 2,455,992). It was an analogue circuit device with an array of knobs used to move a dot that appeared in the cathode ray tube display, according to the patent. The object of the game was to simply control a “missile” in order to hit a target, and it was inspired by how missiles appeared on WWII radars. It was extremely difficult (if not impossible) to show graphics in a Cathode Ray Tube display in the 1940s. As a result, only the real “missile” was visible on the screen. Screen overlays were manually placed on the display screen to show the target and any other graphics. Many people believe that Atari’s popular video game “Missile Command” was inspired by this device.

A digital computing device from the 1950s was known as NIMROD. The engineers of a UK-based company known as Ferranti designed this computer with the intention of exhibiting it at the 1951 Festival of Britain (and later it was also showed in Berlin). NIM is a two-player numerical strategy game that is thought to have originated in ancient China. The NIM rules are simple: There are a set number of groups (or “heaps”), each of which contains a set number of objects (a common starting array of NIM is 3 heaps containing 3, 4, and 5 objects respectively). Each player takes turns removing items from the heaps, but all items must be replaced.

NIMROD had a lights panel as a display and was designed and built specifically for playing the game NIM, making it the first digital computer device designed specifically for gaming (however the main idea was showing and illustrating how a digital computer works, rather than to entertain and have fun with it). However, when discussing a “video game,” it all depends on your point of view. Stephen Russell, with the assistance of MIT’s J. Martin Graetz, Peter Samson, Alan Kotok, Wayne Witanen, and Dan Edwards, designed the video game “Spacewar!” If you wanted to do computer research and development in the 1960s, MIT was “the right choice.” So a half-dozen ingenious guys took advantage of a brand-new computer that had been ordered and was due to arrive on campus soon (a DEC PDP-1) and began brainstorming about what kind of hardware testing programmers they could create. When they learned that the system would be equipped with a “Precision CRT Display,” they immediately decided that “some sort of visual/interactive game” would be the best demonstration software for the PDP-1. 

No Man’s Sky game trainer is a procedurally generated universe game about exploration and survival. Every star in this game is the light of a distant sun, each orbited by planets teeming with life, and you can visit any of them.