January 24, 2022

The video game is a game managed by an electronic device that allows you to interact with the images on a screen. The term generally tends to identify software, but in some cases it can also refer to a hardware device dedicated to a specific game. In Italian it is also said, with Anglicism, videogame, although the correct English term is video game. Anyone who uses a video game is called a gamer or gamer ("gamer" in English) and uses one or more input devices called controllers, such as the gamepad, joystick, mouse and keyboard of a computer. Born in the fifties of the twentieth century in the circles of scientific research and in American universities, the video game has had its commercial development since the seventies.


In 1952 in the laboratories of the University of Cambridge A.S. Douglas, as an example for his doctoral thesis, created OXO, the transposition of the Tic-Tac-Toe computer game. This is usually considered technically the first video game as it used a cathode screen for display. Its purpose, however, was not to entertain users but to complete Douglas's thesis. In 1958 the physicist Willy Higinbotham of Brookhaven National Laboratory, noting the lack of interest that students had in the subject, created a game, Tennis for Two, which had the task of simulating the physical laws that could be found in a tennis match: the medium used was an oscilloscope. This is remembered as a university experiment rather than a game. In 1961, six young scientists from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) manage to give movement to bright dots on the screen of a PDP-1: Spacewar! Was born, the first video game properly designed for play that history can remember. But the great development of video games will only take place in the second half of the seventies. The first video games appeared in the 1970s and were limited to consoles with black and white video set up in public places. The games had essential graphics (like the classic Pong). The game developed by Higinbotham was a schematic tennis simulation in which there was a vertical line on the screen to represent the net as seen from above and a dot on the screen for the ball. There were no markers for the rackets and by acting on the control knob only one player could make the ball "bounce" from one side of the screen to the other: if you did not turn the knob before the end of the screen the ball continued its run and the game would restart without assigning any score with a new ball. In fact, more than a game or a video game it was a demonstration of how one could interact with a computer. The game worked thanks to a series of Donner analog computers (huge boxes of $ 50,000) to which Higinbotham connected relays that, through a DuMont model 804 oscilloscope, were able to generate and manage moving points on the screen (the ball). Douglas's project, like Higinbotham's, was indeed a game but certainly not a video game. It was more a scientific experiment than an invention usable by ordinary people: the EDSAC or the Donner were cabinets that entirely occupied a room and absorbed a huge amount of electricity, as well as having a prohibitive cost for any family of the time: about $ 60,000 for EDSAC and $ 50,000 for a single Donner computer. Russel's Space War, on the other hand, was a real video game based on vector visualization (it was the first attempt at dynamic simulation that history remembers). But due to the complexity of the project and the high development costs on the PDP-1, as well as the difficulty of adapting this video game to a computer with more "affordable" costs, it was necessary to

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