Week 3 David MacKool

4 Jun

In 1947, Goldsmith and Mann developed the Cathode Ray Amusement Tube, the first concept of electronic entertainment that would initiate creation of further games. Five years later in 1952, the next step into computer gaming was found when A.S. Douglas developed Naughts and Crosses on an EDSAC to play a simple game of tic tac toe. Though this game was the first that was entirely run on a computer, it wasn’t distributed beyond the MIT lab it was developed in, and wasn’t distributed.
From this point on, each game made earned a wider and wider release until it was finally consumer distributed. This path begins with William Higinbotham, who created the game tennis for two, which was shown off at the Brockhaven lab open house to add some entertainment to the open house, and was played by anyone who could get to the open house in 1958 and 1959, after which it was broken down and decommissioned. Following tennis for two, the Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT created the next step, Space War. It was a game that showed off the capabilities of the PDP-1 that pitted two spaceships in a battle around a gravity well. This markes another advancement in that it was the first distributed video game, being distributed across the early form of internet to different schools, leading to a fascination of students with trying to create video games.
This leads to the commercialization and monetization of video games thanks to Ralph Baer. Baer creates a design for the first way to turn a television into an active experience, and creates the Home TV Game. This was not however the first consumer gaming system though, as the company he worked for did not want to buy it, and so he went to companies until Magnevox bought the idea in 1971. They then went on to create the first consumer version of a video game, the Magnevox Odyssey, which was made in 1972 and was initially very popular, but dropped off due to several problems with its sale. The Odyssey was very simplistic, given the cost of buying it with only one movable pixel on the screen that was how a user could interact with the programs themselves, and many people thought it could only be used on magnevox televisions due to it only being sold in their store. It was still however the tipping point of gaming as many new designs were created and sold after.

5 Responses to “Week 3 David MacKool”

  1. casti103 June 5, 2015 at 12:33 am #

    I think you have very informative information and facts regarding the lectures, but you never touched upon the changing social perceptions and community. While the technology and commercialization of games was extremely important, I believe the social aspects were just as important in order to be able to build and create better games, systems, and to actually have a marketable audience outside of universities and extremely knowledgeable people.

  2. Michael Avesian June 5, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    David I really like how you go through the evolution of video games and touch on specific ones. I also agree that Space War, being distributed to all different colleges, is one of the main reasons why video games took off. All of the games and people you mentioned were very important and played a large role in future video games to come. You stopped with the release of The Odyssey, but there were many very important games released after that which were way more important in setting the base for the future of the gaming industry. In my opinion, the invention of graphics instead of texts was one of the major shifts that raised popularity in video games. Another important invention for the gaming industry was multiplayer games. Once games such as the Wizard and the Princess, Ulysses, and Time Zone came out with better graphics and features, the gaming industry was truly off to the races. Once hybrid adventure, movie themed, and ethical based games hit the market, video games made their mark on society and remained a hit for the years to come.

  3. dallasm1 June 5, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    I like how you were able to make this post informative but not drag it on for a long period of time. I also think you did a good job of bringing out some of the key points in the post as well. Everything seemed to flow together and made sense while reading it as a whole. I agree with Michael Avesian about maybe adding more of the developments about the video game after The Odyssey. You don’t have to go into great detail about the other things but mention one or two more things and a touch less about the Odyssey. That way, it doesn’t look like video games has had no developments since the 70s.

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