spacewar!

Genesis

The PDP-1, the computer upon which Spacewar (the first real video game) was made - all the way back in 1962. The game program was stored on 40 slips of punched paper, which were fed through the machine. 17 years later, Asteroids was based upon Spacewar.

Spacewar!

"Dan Edwards (left) and Peter Samson playing Spacewar! on the PDP-1 Type 30 display."

circa 1962.

There is a lot of discussion about what counts as the first video game. Some say Spacewar! (programmed by Steve Russell) is the first. Others claim it is the second. Some do not even put it in the first five games ever made. It is really hard to define them based on what we now know as video games. One thing is clear however, Spacewar! is a shmup and It is the very first one (featuring commendable Newtonian Physics at that).

youtube

"The museum’s bottom level, located in the planet core, was a spherical room containing a shrine to the very first videogame, Tennis for Two, invented by William Higinbotham in 1958. The game ran on an ancient analog computer and was played on a tiny oscilloscope screen about five inches in diameter. Next to it was a replica of an ancient PDP-1 computer running a copy of Spacewar!, the second videogame ever made, created by a bunch of students at MIT in 1962."

A list of every video game ever made: 43,806 names, and counting

It’s 43,806 names long, and it’s not even close to being finished.

It’s a project to name every single video game, ever made, for every platform. Pastebin user Data_Baser is leading the project, with help from 4chan’s /vr/ retro games board. And it aims to be comprehensive, including not just arcade, console or PC releases, but video games made for mobile platforms, browser-based games, and visual novels.

So far, the oldest entries are for Computer Space and Galaxy Game (pictured), both class of 1971. Early examples of video games, such as Spacewar! (developed in 1962 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) or Tennis for Two (1958, at Brookhaven National Laboratory) are not in the roll call.

(Link to the full story)

Duel Analog: SpaceWar! vs. Angry Birds

Colin’s new column over on Motherboard inspired by our very own post on Assassin’s Creed vs. Sonic the Hedgehog a few weeks back. Duel Analog compares two seemingly disparate videogames, showing their differences and often radical similarities, spanning the entire history of gaming.

This week we talk about evolution vs. revolution with Spacewar! vs. Angry Birds. Two games with surprising parallels, conveniently bookending videogame history today.
http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/duel-analog-spacewar-vs-angry-birds 

Stay tuned to Motherboard for more Duel Analog columns in 2013!

Spacewar! for the PDP-1

Spacewar! for the PDP-1

Spacewar! for the PDP-1 is now officially the oldest video game I have ever played, thanks to it being brought back to life in an emulator over at the Internet Archive.

The great-grandfather app of many games, including the Space Wars arcade game from the 70s, the emulator simulates as much of the PDP-1 experience as possible, including blinky lights.

Spacewar! Loaded!

Of course, it is raw… and…

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Anti-IS coalition talks focus on jihadist threat

London (AFP) Jan 22, 2015

Top officials from the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group met in London on Thursday for the first talks since the Paris attacks with the threat posed by homegrown jihadists high on the agenda. US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond co-hosted discussions involving 21 of some 60 countries that are working together to tackle the militant IS g

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World 1-1 has released!

World 1-1 is an independent documentary on the early history of video games. The personalities of the pioneers, the creations of the engineers, and the challenges, technology and business deals. See the games and hear the stories from the creators themselves. This is the story of how Atari helped create the games industry years before it should have happened. World 1-1 follows the lucky deals and unfortunate mistakes that almost destroyed the entire industry just as quickly as it was born. Our film captures this history through our cast: Nolan Bushnell, Al Alcorn, Dona Bailey, Warren Robinett, David Crane, Howard Scott Warshaw, Owen Rubin, Joe Decuir, Franz Lanzinger, Steve Mayer and others.

You can now find it on our website: www.worldoneonemovie.com and buy it here: https://worldoneonemovie.vhx.tv/buy/world-1-1-the-pioneers 

A new book unfolds how the “military-entertainment complex” entices soldiers to war and treats them when they return.

Beginning in 1960 and ending in the 1990s, “the armed forces took the lead in financing, sponsoring, and inventing the specific technology used in video games.” Spacewar!, the title historians consider the first video game, was developed by graduate students at MIT who were funded by the Pentagon. As Mead tells us, the 1962 side project was made on a Programmed Data Processor-1, an early microcomputer. The PDP-1’s manufacturer didn’t have a faux space-battle program in mind—one in which “two players used switches and knobs to maneuver spaceships through the gravity field of a star while firing missiles at each other”—when the hardware was designed, surely. But SpaceWar! gave birth to the navigational controls and monitor-as-sight set-up that would influence all subsequent games.

With the help of clinicians in controlled settings, soldiers are able to confront traumatic memories in a process called exposure therapy.

Later, the original first-person perspectives of 1980’s Battlezone and its successor, 1993’s Doom, showed the potential for 3-D piloting, multiplayer networking, and virtual reality-based training. Through commercial gaming technology, the armed forces could adapt soldiers to the tactics of team fighting and trigger-fast decision making, or conjure tailor-made battle environments for them.

The arrangement has synergy: The Pentagon avoids pitiful, expensive efforts to create their own training simulators, and developers get fat government checks. The symbiosis flourished after the Cold War, as budgetary constraints—the lead unnamed character in this book—privileged tactical games over costly field exercises. But 21st-century warfare and the young people who volunteer for it were changing too.

full story: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/playing-war-how-the-military-uses-video-games/280486/

America has money for war both real and simulated, but not for food stamps, subsidised health or education.

fun facts

- the original computer bug was an actual bug, a moth that flew into one of the room sized computers of the 50s

- spacewar! the original videogame was created by the MIT Tech Model Railway Club. they wanted one guy to work on it, but when he procrastinated and didn’t get anything done, everyone put a hand in it, including the star background and the blackhole

- the amusements industry in Chicago had strong ties to the mob, giving arcades the image of having a bad influence

-Bushmill (the founder of Atari and ChuckieCheese) was called to repair the “broken” PONG machine but it was actually just jammed with quarters. whereas other games made about $50/week, PONG made $200. later when they wanted to market PONG to households they promised Sears a moneyback guarantee if they marketed the toy

New Iran-US nuclear talks this week in Switzerland

Washington (AFP) Jan 21, 2015

Diplomats from Iran and the US are to meet again in Switzerland this week as the pace intensifies for a nuclear deal with Tehran, US officials said Wednesday. Top US negotiator Wendy Sherman will travel to Zurich to meet with Iranian officials on Friday and Saturday, less than a week after leading face-to-face negotiations in Geneva, the State Department announced. US Secretary of State

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