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Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
Trying to connect my present with the past in order to fly through the future.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Video Games

I have been informed by a reliable source, me, that today is the unique holiday, Video Game Day. 

Video games have been a part of American life for decades. By some accounts the first video game was created by Thomas Goldsmith, Jr in 1947. This missile simulator had no graphics (since they didn’t know how to do that yet) so overlays were used.  In 1950, a chess game; 1952, Tic-Tac-Toe; 1958 Tennis for Two.

Considered the first “shooter” game, Spacewar was created by MIT students Martin Graetz, Steve Russell and Wayne Wiitanen. The first video game console (to work with the TV) was called Odyssey (aka Brown Box) and created by Ralph Baer. In 1971, the first coin –operated game, created by Bill Pitts and Hugh Tuck, called Galaxy Game. Pong was introduced in 1972, although it was desgined the same earlier in the decade.

We had Pong at our house. It was the greatest thing since…well, TV.  I am trying to remember if we got our first video game before or after our first VCR. I do remember the big discussion in the house of Beta or VHS (we went with VHS). The next video game set we got was Intelevision. Next came personal computers and the games that went with them, This year, we caved and purchased a Wii. And we love it. Of course, right after we got it, Nintendo came out with the "No Wires" game system…what ever that is going to be called…oh well, Maybe now the prices for the Wii games will go down. By the way, we still have our Intelevision and still play it occasionally. You can’t fault vintage fun. Now, where did I put my Pong paddle?

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