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Old 12-22-2011, 06:02 PM   #1
Deadset Deadset is offline
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Default From Pong to PS3 - Video Games through the years


Game consoles— like today’s Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation 3—have come a long way from their humble beginnings, when a white dot bounced back and forth somewhat forlornly across an oscilloscope screen. Today’s video and computer games include graphically impressive first-person shooters such as Crysis 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Others, like Dance Central on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 with Kinect, apply real-time motion-capture technology to turn the player’s body into the controller.
 [Check out a slideshow of video games and consoles over the years.]

To explore the game industry’s dramatic history, The Institute enlisted the help of the IEEE History Center,, and other online resources. The story is filled with flops as well as breakthroughs. Somehow, the game industry always bounces back and continues to grow.


The first video game can be traced to 1948, when Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann were issued a U.S. patent for a “cathode* ray tube amusement device.” A machine with a knob (for aiming) and button (for shooting) was used to fire at airplane targets. Because of equipment costs, among other factors, the game was never manufactured; only a few handmade prototypes were passed around.

Ten years later, physicist William Higinbotham developed Tennis for Two, a game that added an analog computer to an oscilloscope. The opposing players each had a box equipped with a knob that controlled an on-screen paddle for angling where a ball was to go, and a button for hitting the ball.

In 1961, a group of MIT students wrote a program for their DEC PDP-1** computer, called Spacewar! It was for two players whose squadrons of opposing spacecraft fired missiles at each other. If yours was the last craft firing, you won. The game, eventually distributed as a premium with new DEC computers, was simple and fun to play.

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Old 12-22-2011, 07:48 PM   #2
Moviefan2k4 Moviefan2k4 is offline
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Nice read; I'm glad they mentioned "Brown Box" creator Ralph Baer.

"If I find in myself a desire which nothing in this world can satisfy, the most reasonable explanation is that I was made for another world." ~C.S. Lewis~
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