​By Håkon and Pål

Cumputer Games

There are different opinions on what was the first video game ever made. One of them was the Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device and was developed by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann in USA 1947. It was the first patented electronic game, but should it be considered as a computer game since it is purley mechanical and is not runned by any programming or computer generated graphics?

Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device

​"A Cathode-Ray Tube is a device that can register and control the quality of an electronic signal. Once connected to an Oscilloscope, the electronic signal is visually represented on the Oscilloscope's monitor as a beam of light. The electronic signal quality is measured by how the beam of light moves and curves on the display." source 1.

In the video they use a magnet to control the electric beam, but in the original Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device they use knobs to control the strenght of the beam so the ray appear to move and curve.

The game is based on a Wolrd War II radar.
In the game you try to adjust the beam to hit the targets and the makers of the game has added some sort of explosion if you hit the targets.

Progress through the history of video games

The history of video games is filled with events and earlier technology that paved the way for todays more advanced video games, all these events had a part in spawning the video game industry.Here is some of the games that have made the way for better gaming technology:


Made in 1952 by Alexander S. Douglas and was the first computer game to use a digital graphical display. It's also known as OXO or Noughts and Crosses. It was a version of Tic-Tac-Toe for EDSAC computer. OXO used a rotary telephone controller for game controll and was designed for the world's first stored-program computer.

Tennis for two

William Higinbotam made in 1958 an interactive computer game named "Tennis for two." The
U.S. Department of Energy founded the display of the game and it was meant to promote
atomic power, and used an analog computer and the vector display system of an oscilloscope. As shown in the video, two players are playing against each other and the point of the game is the same as in a regular tennis game.

Wayne Wiitanen, Martin Graetz and Steve Russell made this game in 1961 as MIT students. It is generally considered as the first shooter game, and it was a huge inspiration for other programmers to write their own game. The game was also used as a "smoke test" for new computers before shipping off. A smoke test is the final test of the hardware on the computer. Since spacewar was the only program that could test all the hardware on the computer, it was perfectly fitted as a smoke test.

Link to play the game:
P.S. Read the "Readme" script before playing.


Ralph Baer had an Idea in 1951 to make an interactive game on the TV, but stopped working on it for a while. In 1966 he and an associate resumed his work on the game and had a working prototype in 1968 known as the "Brown Box", but it wasn't released before 1972 by Magnavox under the name Odyssey. It was the first game to use video signals to display the game on a TV and also the world's first home video game console.

Pong is two-dimensional sports game (table tennis). Each player controls a paddle on their side of the screen by moving it vertically. You can also play against a computer opponent. Players use the paddles to hit a ball back and forth. They get point if the opponent miss the ball and the player with the most points win, as you can see in the video.

There are three steps in the Pong history:

The first step.
In 1972 Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded a company called Atari Inc. Bushnell hired a man named Alan Alcorn, who had worked with them before, and became the designer of Pong. Bushnell wanted Alcorn to make the game feature realistic sounds effects, have a roaring crowd and make the game to "boo" and "hiss" when a player lost a round. Alcorn was a little concerned in the beginning, but come up with an idea. He bought a black and white TV from a local store and soldered the wires into boards to create the necessary circuitry. Bushnell and Dabney were so impressed by this prototype that they decided to test its marketability. They installed the prototype in a local bar, Andy Capp,s Tavern and was well recieved the first night, and the popularity continued to grow over the next one and a half weeks.

The second step.
In 1974, Atari started to design a home version of Pong. The three engineers who designed the
system was Harold Lee, Alan Alcorn and Bob Brown. external image Pong-CONSOLE.jpg

The third step.
In 1975, Atari come up with a smart idea of designing the first "Pong in a chip" device. These Atari chips were not available to other manufactors, thus limitating the market considerably. There were different chips for most of Atari systems because of the different games and features. Even though the Atari chips was a smart idea, the idea of adapting complex circuits into a single chip was a common idea at the time.

The basic principles behind video games

external image ps3-psn-psp-08lineup.jpg
The electronic systems used to play video games are known as platforms, examples of these are PC (Personal Computer) and video game consoles. These platforms range from large mainfraim computers to small handheld devices. The Arcade games was commonly found around in resturants and public houses, but they are disappearing more and more from the public and ending up in a privat collector's home. The game controll is an input device used to manipulate the game and it's diffrent from platform to platform. In "tennis for two" the game controll was a box with a button and a switch, in newer games the game controll can be a button and a joystick or several buttons and maybe two joysticks, depends on which platform you play on. PC games uses the keyboard and the mouse as game controlls and earlier it was common to use a joystick with at least one button. The video game controlls from 2000 and up to now has a built in vibration to make the player feel more in the game. They use the vibration to simulate force feedback, "It takes advantage of a user's sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, and/or motions upon the user" source 8.
Video games uses other methods to give the player interaction and information, such as audio. Audio is external image xbox360.jpgalmost universal, using sound reproduction devices, such as speaker and headphones, which is very effectiv to use during online multiplayer games.

"Video games don't affect us. I mean if Pacman affected us as kids we'd all be running around darkened rooms munching pills and listening to repetitive music." source 9.


1. http://classicgames.about.com/od/classicvideogames101/p/CathodeDevice.htm
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_video_game
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnavox_Odyssey
4. http://www.pong-story.com/atpong1.htm
5. http://www.pong-story.com/atpong2.htm
6. http://www.pong-story.com/gi.htm
7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game
9. http://www.play.com/Clothing/T-Shirts/4-/11540460/Joystick-Junkies-Pac-Man-Quote/Product.html