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.


"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).

Watch on

"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. 

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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Computer game history

I cannot help respecting Sir. Steve Russell and their ambition and sense of humor, which made the early computer game called Spacewar! In those days, computers must have been never personal at all!!! Awesome! This is the beginning of the concept “hacking”, I think. Since I have learned the first computer graphics is “Sketch pad” by Sir. Ivan Sutherland, I feel, something like “hacking” prior to “researching”. Of course I know we can’t compare them.

I like his nice smiling while he is gesturing “realistic”.

In addition, some Japanese famous games, packman and Mario, are also introduced. Those are proud of Japan :)

Computer game history on Youtube

Until computers come to the people we will have no real idea of their most natural functions. Up to the present their cost and size has kept them in the province of rich and powerful institutions, who, understandably, have developed them primarily as bookkeeping, sorting and control devices. The computers have been a priceless aid in keeping the lid on top-down organization. They are splendidly impressive as oracles of (programmable) Truth, the lofty voice of unchangeable authority.

In fact, computers don’t know shit. Their special talent in the direction of intelligence is the ability to make elaborate models and fiddle with them, to I answer in detail questions that begin “What if ..?” In this they parallel (and can help) the acquiring of intelligence by children. But the basic fact of computer use is “Garbage In, Garbage Out” - if you feed the computer nonsense, it will dutifully convert your mistake into insanity-cubed and feed it back to you. Children are different - “Garbage In, Food Out” is common with them. Again, the benefits of variant parallel systems. Computer function is mostly one-track-mind, in which inconsistency is intolerable. The human mind functions on multiple tracks (not all of them accessible); it can tolerate and even thrive on inconsistency.

I suggest that the parallel holds for the overall picture of computer use. Where a few brilliantly stupid computers can wreak havoc, a host of modest computers (and some brilliant ones) serving innumerable individual purposes can be healthful, can repair havoc, feed life. (Likewise, 20 crummy speakers at once will give better sound fidelity than one excellent speaker - try it.)

Spacewar serves Earthpeace. So does any funky playing with computers or any computer-pursuit of your own peculiar goals, and especially any use of computers to offset other computers. It won’t be so hard. The price of hardware is coming down fast, and with the new CMOS chips (Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor integrated circuits) the energy-drain of major computing drops to Flashlight-battery level.

Part of the grotesqueness of American life in these latter days is a subservience to Plan that amounts to panic. What we don’t intend shouldn’t happen. What happens anyway is either blamed on our enemies or baldly ignored. In our arrogance we close our ears to voices not our rational own, we routinely reject the princely gifts of spontaneous generation.

Spacewar as a parable is almost too pat. It was the illegitimate child of the marrying of computers and graphic displays. It was part of no one’s grand scheme. It served no grand theory. It was the enthusiasm of irresponsible youngsters. It was disreputably competitive (“You killed me, Tovar!”). It was an administrative headache. It was merely delightful.

—  Stewart Brand, Spacewar 1972
Israeli Navy awaits arrival of new submarine

Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Sep 10, 2014

A new submarine from Germany is sailing toward Israel to join the Israeli Navy following crew training in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The vessel is the INS Tanin, the fourth of six Dolphin-class submarines Israel ordered from German shipbuilder Howaldtswerke Deeutsche Werk and the first in an upgraded design. Upgrades include improved air-independent propulsion, and more mo

from Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense

i grew up on star wars, i love star trek and ds9 and BSG and mass effect and all of those stories about spacewars

but it kind of bothers me that somehow our default vision of the future in big budget movies/tv shows/games looks so much like the military

it was neat to see a show from a different perspective

oh well, at least caprica did better than that awful blood and chrome