The Art of James Teeple

My photo
Leicester, United Kingdom
I'm 21 / DMU Art Student / British-American.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A history of computer games : 1950s - 1970s

As it turns out, the story of the computer really begins with a machine designed too early for its time. Its function was much the same as a calculator. It was called The Difference engine. In 1822 a man named Charles Babbage wanted to build the machine conceived by J. H. Muller 36 years prior. He saw the machine as a means to erase human error in astronomical and mathematical table keeping. Unfortunately for him, the complexity of the design was too high to be practical and was virtually impossible to construct in his time so remained unfinished. In recent times, his designs have been completed and a working model of the Difference engine now exists.
One hundred and forty years later, 1940. The stage is set for computers as we know them to finally make a showing, at least in their most basic of forms. Between the dates 1939, the creation of the Hp audio oscillator 200a, and 1951 with the ‘Leo’ logistics system, a whole host of computers had entered the scene. But before that, the computer was really only practical as a piece of company hardware and not a device viable for the general public. Then came the rise of the personal computer and with it, all important Games.
I think that the first video game ever was “Tennis for two “ created by William Higinbotham in 1958. it was only a few pixel planes bouncing a singular pixel back and fourth across a central divide and it kept score. Some don’t consider it a game as it simulated a existing sport. None the less it was the first of its kind and likely lay the path for “Space war” developed in 1962 and widely seen to be the first real computer game. It was revolutionary as it was the first machine to allow two users to be playing simultaneously. Each controlling a space ship that could fire on one another and use space warps to teleport.

The next big leap forward was when “pong” was released in 1972 as the first commercially available video game. I was a huge success and was quickly followed by a string of games following the same format as pong but in new variations. This I believe was when the computer games industry first began. later games would help it to take off and explode into the vast number of competitive companies we've seen since the early 80's.

The mid to late 70's saw the rise of many commercial machines including the first Apple computer and the first games console, Atari VCS prototype. Two huge names in today's market both companies have been very successful and there life began with those prototype products. The Atari VCS used cartridges for games and come with a wide variety. It also used a controller. It was revolutionary because it had the plug in and play capability which meant anyone’s home TV could house one. And so the consoles were born, yet I remained but a thought or a possibility in my parents minds. Bring on the 90's!

No comments:

Post a Comment