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The First Computer Game

Updated on March 27, 2011

The World's First Video Game

Some Kid Gamerz goin Hardcore!
Some Kid Gamerz goin Hardcore!

Computer Games Today

Today the industry is an 11.7 billion dollar giant (source), where very intense and complex games demand higher computer graphics more than ever. And while we can get lost in this, it's not hard to remember the Nintendo and Playstation I of our past, or even older games, such as pacman, which are now clearly a vintage market.

But this begs the question, what was the first computer gaming device? The answer may surprise you.

The Competitors

The two primary competitors in the field are Noughts and Crosses and Tennis for Two, both games which were developed in the university atmosphere in the 50s and 60s. 

OXO (Noughts and Crosses) was made in Cambridge in 1954. It is a computerized version of the game known in the states as tic-tac-toe, and has no actual graphics, just the replacemnt of blanks squares with X or O, depending upon a player's move. 

Tennis for Two was a game built to spread science with the world and was released in 1958. It featured a vacuum tube and rudimentary (yet moving graphics). However, it is clearly beat out by the Noughts and Crosses game, which predates it by four years, right?


The Black Horse

Neither. The first ever 'video-game' was a patent submitted to the US Patent Office in 1947, for a machine that could work, but was never produced, beyond an apparent prototype. It was called the Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device, and was the first invention on record meant for entertainment, that had interactivity that might make it into a 'game'. 

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