Computer games have been around a long time now but the first ever video game was made 50 years ago. Games have come a long way and the hardware on which they run are much superior than ‘Spacewar!’, what is the world’s first computer game was run on. The game was coded by Steve Russell  in the midst of the space travel around that period. CNET has a story on recreating the system on which the game was made. After a year, a team of developers that consisted of Pete Samson, Dan Edwards and Martin Graetz made some changes to the game and made it available for free to a company called Digital Equipment. 


It was also installed onto PDP-1 machines to demonstrate that they were working perfectly. The game was really simple as compared to the ones seen on computers these days. The game allowed two players to use the controls to destroy each other’s spaceships using rockets. One of the unique things of the game was to allow users to move the spaceship to a random spot on the screen by using a feature called ‘Hyperspace’.  MIT students decided to recreate the game on the more cheaper, and freely available Arduino chip, which is now priced at a fraction of the price of the PDP-1 machine of 1962 but offers the same performance. Back then, Spacewar! was made into an arcade game and eventually a game for home computers, but it didn’t receive the same appreciation as some of the other titles such as Asteroids.

Spacewar! was a little more complicated for its time. The game required you to fight the gravitational pull of the Sun and make changes to the controls accordingly. For a new game, users had to get used the controls whereas Asteroids was downright simple to understand and control.  Upto that point, computers were used for calculations and serious work. A game such as Spacewar changed the image of computing machines completely. 

Publish date: February 13, 2012 9:18 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 9:35 pm

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