Before Pong, there was Computer Space
Surrender your quarters, human!
This Old Box The holiday spirit is still strong with This Old Box — or rather, the nog we're drinking this evening has some pretty strong spirits in it. Just semantics really.
But as the shopping days until C-day dwindle, there's computer games on many-a-reader's mind. And with Atari's latest resurrection in swing, we can't help but dedicate this edition to a little gaming history.
Without further ado, we dive into the first video game system ever to get a job:
Display: Modified 15" General Electric vacuum tube television set
Special Features: Few sharp corners to cut yourself on.
Pong often gets credit for being the first commercially sold video game, but the honor truly belongs to Computer Space, created in 1971 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney who would both later found Atari.
Before there was arcade centers (much less home consoles) to expose the public to video games, the first true commercial obstacle the video game industry had to overcome was convincing drunks to part with their quarters. Despite novel technology and an eye-catching cabinet design, Computer Space was, for its time, too foreign a concept and difficult to control to become a success in the bars it was pitched to.
It was only later when Bushnell and Dabney moved to selling a simple paddle-ball game anyone could play did the video game industry blossom into the paycheck-stealing monster it is today.
Next page: Spacewar!
Nice find... and an interesting read in itself.
Paris, because she knows about vertical _and_horizontal hold.
"it's called commuter space"
I assume it is a First Person Shooter.
i just had an idea for a new game
it's called commuter space. that rare and oft fought over commodity shared by hundereds and thousands of cube slaves every morning and evening, on the train/bus/etc...
no... i didn't think so either....
this is the future
@ Bob Merkin:
Well the funny thing is that the makers of Soylent Green (which is set in 2022), couldn't have known what the future of gaming would be like. So they used "Computer Space" and maybe thought "yeah, in the future people will have such cool games for their homes" :) and now just imagine where we are today in 2008, and what the games already look like :) I'm sure they wouldn't have imagined that (think of Crysis etc)
It's pretty amazing in the flesh
(The machine, don't know about the model). There were a couple of them at the videogames exhibition at the science museum in London; however I don't think they were operational, sadly.
The pictures really don't do justice to quite how sparkly it is.