The Granddaddy of the first videogame was Pong. Pong was developed by a gentleman named William Higinbotham while working for a US nuclear lab in NY. Pong was a simple tennis game controlled by two dials. Come on - we all played Pong at least once! Called Tennis for Two by the creators, Pong debuted in 1958 a Brookhaven gymnasium. The outright fun of the game and the curiosity factor helped start the video game industry.
The second Major development in Video gaming came when in 1961 a group of students from M.I.T. developed a game called spacewar. The group went on to develop spacewars into the first interactive video game. Who remembers the game Space Invaders? You know - the game where you shoot the downward moving aliens. Well, do you know it was based on Spacewars? Spacewars was a huge hit with the faculty at colleges and universities around the country. These universities used a little know technology to transfer and share the program called ARPAnet, which would soon be referred to as the Internet. No one could have envisions 40s years laters video games such as Xbox and Playstation 2 would be in the majority of livings rooms in the United States.
The major downside of the Spacewars game was that it took a computer the size of a large refrigerator and a cost of over one hundred and twenty thousand dollars to run it. This would change over the next decade as prices on hardware reduced substantially.
Pong would again later in history play a major part in the adoption of video games and consoles when in 1974 when Atari employees Harold Lee and Bob Brown come up with the idea of a home based system for pong. The idea took a while to sell but in 1975 they finally convinced Sears to purchase one hundred and fifty thousand units. The Pong game and control panel is labeled under the Sears “telegames” label and is a massive success. The video game was finally in the consumers’ hands and it could be easily hooked up to any current day television with ease.
Today popular video games include Xbox and playstation 2. Video gaming sales have surpassed one billion in sales, we can’t wait to see what the next ten years hold.