History of Video Games Essay

2092 Words 9 Pages
Did you know that Pong; the first game made by Atari, wasn’t originally meant to be released to the public? A new Atari employee was given the assignment of making it simply as a test of his game design skills. Since Pong became a hit, video games have been a large part of the entertainment business. They have found their way into homes all over the world.

“You can’t say that video games grew out of pinball, but you can assume that video games wouldn’t have happened without it. It’s like bicycles and cars. One industry leads to the other and then they exist side by side. But you had to have bicycles to one day have motor cars” (Steven Baxter). In 1931 David Gottlieb invented the first pinball machine. Gottlieb was a short, stocky person.
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It came in the form of a ball on a pedestal; from which came the name “Stool Pigeon.” If the ball fell off, that was the end of the game. It allowed the cabinet to move only within a reasonable boundary. The pedestal was later replaced by a pendulum. The tilt mechanism has been present in all pinball machines since.

In 1933 Williams designed the first electric pinball machine. It was called “Contact.” It utilized electrified scoring pockets called “Contact Holes.” They knocked the ball back into play which allowed scoring to continue.

One of the most significant innovations in the history of pinball is arguably the flipper bat, invented by Harry Mabs. For a while pinball was considered gambling because it had payouts. The flipper bat redeemed pinball because the flipper made it a game of skill. The invention of the flipper was so significant that in France pinball is simply referred to as “Le Flipper.”

The first video game was created by a man named Steve Rusell. He was short, wore glasses, and had curly hair. He made the game in 1962. It took him six months. His game was called “Spacewar.” It was a simple duel between spaceships. The controls were toggle switches. It was a two player game because the computers at that time were too slow to have artificial intelligence, which would’ve allowed the computer to act as a second player. In a later version of the game there was a background of stars. There was also a hyperspace button; a button which made…