5 of the Most Influential Early Video Games

Home video games may seem like a contemporary phenomenon, but they actually have roots that go back to the Truman administration. That’s when computer scientists began tinkering with electronic machines to construct basic automated games, such as the pioneering “Bertie the Brain,” an ingenious 13-foot-tall, tic-tac-toe-playing computer showcased at a Canadian national exposition in 1950.

At a time when televisions had still not been widely adopted and most games were played on boards, consumers weren’t ready for something as radical as interacting with screens—certainly not something as hulking as Bertie’s “brain.” By the early 1960s, the first multi-user computer video game, Spacewar!, gained a national audience of tech geeks, who played it on an innovative new data processing machine called the PDP-1 that was big, expensive ($120,000) and sold mostly to university computer labs. It wasn’t until the 1970s that more populist coin-operated, cabinet-based games arrived, spawning one of that decade’s most popular teen hangouts: the video game arcade. 

Source link