Who Invented Video Games?

No single individual can be credited with creating the first video game. But as this brief history of video games will show, several people played a prominent role in its growth and expansion.

The Earliest Video Games
The records show that in 1952, A.S. Douglas developed a graphical computer game. The game was Tic Tac Toe and it was created on the EDSAC vacuum tube computer. However it isn’t generally considered to be a video game. The first real video game is said to be William Higinbotham’s Tennis for Two. This game came out in 1958.

The next innovation came in 1962 when Steve Russell came out with Spacewar! The game was played on a MIT PDP-1 mainframe computer. The history of video games would change in 1967 when Ralph Baer created a game called Chase. It was the first game to be played on a TV screen.

The 1970s Arcade Games
Several important developments took place in the 1970s. Nolan Bushnell and his associate Ted Dabney came out with Computer Space, and the video arcade was born. In 1972 the game Pong came out (Pong is often erroneously referred to as the first video game). Later that year Bushnell and Dabney would team up again and form Atari Computers.

It was also in 1972 a home video game console became available. It was produced by Magnavox. Called the Odyssey, it came with a dozen games. Four years later, the Fairchild Video Entrainment System appeared. A study of the history of video games will show that a lot of the classic games came out during the 1970s.

Following the success of Atari, Space Invaders came out in 1978, and was also well received. In 1979, colors began to be used in arcade games. That year, the game Asteroids came out and in 1980, Pac Man was released. Arcade games proved very popular during the decade.

The 1980s and Beyond
The major gaming consoles during the 1980s were the Apple computer, the Atari and the Commodore 64. Around the mid 1980s, computers began competing with arcades for games. The history of video games will show that during the 1980s, a variety of games were developed. The games became more complex and the genres expanded rapidly.

Mystery House for the Apple II was very popular when it came out in 1980. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken was one of the first to use a first person perspective and full color. The company behind it was Sierra, which in 1984 would produce the classic King’s Quest.

Other popular games in the 1980s included Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, Donkey Kong and Kung Fu Master. The Mario Brothers first came out in 1983 and Metal Gear in 1987.

The 1990s was a period of great innovation. The games would eventually morph into 3D and sound would also improve.

As the decade rolled into the new millennium, companies like Sony and Nintendo would come out with new gaming consoles that would propel games to new heights. As the history of video games continue to evolve, expect more exciting graphics and gameplay to appear.