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40th Anniversary of Video Games Today

40th Anniversary of Video Games Today

Today marks the official 40th Anniversary of video games. How ever did we get from Pong to Bioshock?

Today marks the official 40th anniversary of video games, so be sure to raise a glass this evening and remember video game classics such as Pong, Super Mario Bros and Jet Set Willy.

Video games are generally thought to have begin when two Associate Engineers, Ralph Baer and Bill Harrison, sat down for a a two player competition of what they called "The Bucket Filling Game". Fascinated with it, the pair continued working on a selection of video game projects which culminated in "The Brown Box" and the Odyssey video game System.

Although other games, namely Spacewar which is considered to be the first computer game ever, pre-date The Bucket Filling Game by a few years it was the two player version of The Bucket Filling Game that was first designed for use on a television screen.

Somehow, over the last forty years we managed to progress from the bucket filling mini-epic to landmark titles such as Doom, Deus Ex, Half-Life and the life-devouring World of Warcraft. Since the likes of Spacewar and The Bucket Filling Game we have seen new characters emerge, like Mario, Link and JC Denton, some of whom have become almost a recurring part of today's culture.

Even language has changed, with words like Pwn, n00b and ROFL all becoming common place and which are inexorably tied to the popularity and growth of the video games market.

Of course, not all changes have been for the better. ET for the Atari 2600, Postal 2 and Jack Thompson, all have left their stain on the good name of our beloved obsession.

For those with a love of all things retro, 1UP is currently hosting an article about the birth of video games and an interview with Bill Harrison.

So, what game was it that got you hooked? Are you a Secret Of Monkey Island fanboy like me, or was it Wonderboy: The Dragons Trap on Gamegear or Command and Conquer on PC that got you addicted, as it was for some of the other bit-tech writers. Let us know in the forums!

36 Comments

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will. 16th May 2007, 11:43 Quote
I want that TV in that picture so that I can make it into a fish tank.
Tim S 16th May 2007, 11:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will.
I want that TV in that picture so that I can make it into a fish tank.
Bauul 16th May 2007, 12:43 Quote
ah 40 years ago today, long live computer games!

What was everyone's first ever experience of a computer game? My father has reminisced about playing the original Pong on a black and white telly in his lounge, but for me it was the Commodore 64, and in particular Dizzy the Egg. Legendary machine the Commodore 64, even though it still loaded quicker than Half-Life 2. *titter*
mikeuk2004 16th May 2007, 13:01 Quote
My first experience to video games was the BBC with the clasic game "painter"

oh yeah now thats hard core :)
RickDawson 16th May 2007, 13:03 Quote
Amstrad CPC6128
128k memory, and you had to program it in BASIC to do anything (even load/run a disc)
DougEdey 16th May 2007, 13:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeuk2004
My first experience to video games was the BBC with the clasic game "painter"

oh yeah now thats hard core :)


Pfft, centipede then trying to code a skii game. Took me three weeks before I realised I hadn't saved :(
CardJoe 16th May 2007, 13:13 Quote
First game was Grannys Garden on the old BBC at school. Bloody hard, kids would race in to be the first person on it and everyone else would cluster around the 'cool' kid who shouldered his way to the keyboard. Then we moved on to Martello Towers for the same game. Bloody impossible game, I tracked down an emulated version a few years ago and I still couldn't crack the mother.

From there, punch and judy on C64, Jet Set Willy on BBC, then Rick Dangerous II and Monkey Island on Amiga A500+. After Monkey Island, the rest is history.
DarkReaper 16th May 2007, 13:21 Quote
Paganitzu is one of my first gaming memories, on a brand spanking new 486 laptop. I've still got it somewhere
riggs 16th May 2007, 13:26 Quote
Can't actually remember what my first game was...something on the Amstrad CPC464 no doubt...probably Harrier Attack, or Oh! Mummy.

I remember my first console though - got a NES 'action pack' (or whatever it was calledt) - x2 pads, zapper, and the Mario/Duckhunt cart. Best Christmas ever!

First PC game I played was Alley Cat ...go CGA graphics (woot!)

Thing is, even though I owned a NES as a kid, I still used to love playing on older machines. We still had the Amstrad, which got regular use, and a few friends had systems like the Atari 2600, and the Vectrex, which I thought were fantastic.
mikeuk2004 16th May 2007, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
From there, punch and judy on C64, Jet Set Willy on BBC, then Rick Dangerous II and Monkey Island on Amiga A500+. After Monkey Island, the rest is history.

ah Rick Dangerous now thats a great game.

After the BBC it was Amstrad then the good old PC 286/ PC 386 / Amiga 500+/ Comadore 64 / PC 486 / Game Boy / Master System II / MegaDrive 1 / Game Gear / Lynx / Mega CD 1 / Atari Jaguar / NES / Snes / 32x / Saturn / Pentium 350/500/1Ghrz / PS1 / N64 / PS2 / Xbox / AMD 2600 / Game Cube / PSP / AMD 64 3700 / Xbox 360 / DS Lite

Next will be PS3 :)

Never did get a 3DO and I really wanted one too. I also wanted the Jag CD for some reason but never found anywhere that sold it.
DXR_13KE 16th May 2007, 13:44 Quote
the memories........ they make me feel warm and nice inside.
Lazlow 16th May 2007, 14:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeuk2004
My first experience to video games was the BBC with the clasic game "painter"

oh yeah now thats hard core :)
One of my first was Tea Shop on a BBC at school - we also wrote a bit of code and after a while, worked out how to edit the variables in Tea Shop, so that you had a limitless amount of cash.
g3n3tiX 16th May 2007, 14:24 Quote
Atari ST 520...hell yeah !!
and oh-so-many games on it !! Z-out, Venus the flytrap, Pang (THAT is hardcore), and many more...

then moved to PC, but can't remember games that really marked me. (I mean at the beggining)
f00dl3 16th May 2007, 15:21 Quote
My first gaming experience I can remember was with a game called Grammar Gremlins on the Apple IIGS.

Currently on this drug called Lord of the Rings Online... Quite a difference in graphics.
Flibblebot 16th May 2007, 15:23 Quote
ZX81 & 3D Monster Maze. Aaahh, the days of inputting programs by hand, hoping all the time that you didn't wobble the 16K RAM pack, and that the tape deck was good enough to save the program.

After that, Spectrum, C64, Amiga 500, and the inevitable raft of PCs...
Redbeaver 16th May 2007, 16:33 Quote
goddamn u guys are old lol

ok just kiddin....

my first is NINTENDO!! W00T W00T for Mario and Superdeltaforce or wutever that 2D action shootemup game is called.... and then Sega.... (not Saturn) (Spiderman and Sonic ***!)... i was 9yr old and i sold my Nintendo to my buddy and with my savings i bought a Sega lol..... after that its Super-Nintendo for Xmas on grade 5 (yes, button-masher Dragon Ball Z!!!)... then straight to PC in Junior HIgh...... and the first game is Doom and some futuristic jetfighter game... wutever tat was.....
AngelOfRage 16th May 2007, 16:56 Quote
Dizzy the Egg on C64. So many hours wasted (and that was just the loading times :P)
completemadness 16th May 2007, 16:58 Quote
i remember doing doom on DOS a lot, that was probably the first game i played

pong was probably a year or 2 before my time though ;)
Bauul 16th May 2007, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
First game was Grannys Garden on the old BBC at school. Bloody hard, kids would race in to be the first person on it and everyone else would cluster around the 'cool' kid who shouldered his way to the keyboard. Then we moved on to Martello Towers for the same game. Bloody impossible game, I tracked down an emulated version a few years ago and I still couldn't crack the mother.

They were fooking hard those old adventure games on the BBC. One such game, IIRC, was The Lost Frog, which we never managed to complete back at Primary School. Upon tracking it down via an emulator a few years back we got to the bit we couldn't get past only to discover the answer we needed was obtained via an extremely complex, rare and totally obscure mathematical model few people had even ever heard of, let alone used, and we were trying to complete this game aged 8. No wonder we struggled! Stupid thing was the game was designed for 8 year olds, it was billed as Educational Software. What kind of creepy child genius were they trying to create?

They were all stupidly hard, Granny's Garden gave me nightmares and Martello Towers was just creepy. It was full of things like:

"You enter a room, a man laughs manically at you from above.

You can go north, north east, or north north east."

What was this game designed for, psychotically insane orienteering?
RickDawson 16th May 2007, 17:03 Quote
any good modern versions (online flash, java etc) of the old classics?
I did find one for "chucky egg" that was the first game on the Amstrad for me.
flabber 16th May 2007, 17:07 Quote
Definately Pong that got me into the "scene". But Joust on the Atari really got my blood flowing, hehe.

After that it's really a blur... some names pop up though;
- Streetfighter
- Mark of the Wolves
- King of Fighters
- Samurai Shodown
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
- Final Fantasy
- Sega Rally
- Final Fantasy
- Breath of Fire (the old ones)
- Tetris (how can I forget?)
And kazillions more where that came from :D Long live videogames!
[USRF]Obiwan 16th May 2007, 17:18 Quote
played the original pong, 2600's, videopacs, intellivisions....

Damn! i'm getting too old for this s*t :(
Bauul 16th May 2007, 17:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
played the original pong, 2600's, videopacs, intellivisions....

Damn! i'm getting too old for this s*t :(

As impressive as that is... I'm still trying to work out what "s*t" is?
Neogumbercules 16th May 2007, 21:04 Quote
I think the game that got me into games was Tennis on the Atari *insert model number here*
mikeuk2004 16th May 2007, 21:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
i remember doing doom on DOS a lot, that was probably the first game i played

pong was probably a year or 2 before my time though ;)

Doom was my first lan game. Me and my bro played none stop on our 486's.

Then came DoomII oh my god. The fun we had was amazing

My first online game was Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun on a 56k modem.
Spaceraver 16th May 2007, 22:17 Quote
That would be Winter Olympics for the old IBM PCjr. Hilarious as a game..
wafflesomd 17th May 2007, 02:33 Quote
My first game experience:

Megaman 3 on NES.
The_Templar 17th May 2007, 03:28 Quote
I think my first ever computer game was R-Type, for some variant of the Amstrad CPC (i was like 6).. Heh, I only completed it this year (thank goodness for the invention of the save function), but, I am proud to say, reached level 7/8 without saves :-) Which was pretty damn hard :-)

Oh well.

Heh. Did anyone ever play Karnov?
Dr. Strangelove 17th May 2007, 14:22 Quote
Hmm I think the fist games I played was something like, space invaders, *some racing game*, *a game where you played bartender for a lot of cowboys*, and finally my all time favorite Digger!! (with the mind numbing tune popcorn in the background on a PC speaker). First "Lan" game was probably something like bomberman (or what ever it was called)
RickDawson 17th May 2007, 18:12 Quote
Quote:

*some racing game*, *a game where you played bartender for a lot of cowboys*
These are on the xbox live arcade :D
Hells_Bliss 17th May 2007, 21:45 Quote
prince of persia, i remember playing that. that and sim city and before that was some crazy shareware game.

Oh yeah and in primary school i played that stupid lost pyramid or pharoh game on the Apple 2.
Woodstock 18th May 2007, 14:04 Quote
hmmmm would have to be some version of the atari had an eight in one cartridge a mate also had one (different games thou) and we would swap every once every other week. the killers for me would have to be sonic (not sure which one) jumped for joy when i clocked that, alex the kidd in miricle world, never quite finnished that one been meaning to try again via an emulator and prince of persia, wana try this one again not sure if i ever finnished it. the first pc game was the neverhood probaly my all time fav game as well took me from when i was about 10 (estimate) to i was 15 to finish that - talking about rainbows (something with light) and it suddenly clicked (is the neverhood demmed to be the same kind of adventure game as monkey island, just wondering since i never played any ot the monkey islands) i think ive typed to much
CardJoe 18th May 2007, 16:07 Quote
I love The Neverhood - truly imaginative and crazy game. Love the soundtrack by Terry Taylor too.
Woodstock 18th May 2007, 23:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
I love The Neverhood - truly imaginative and crazy game. Love the soundtrack by Terry Taylor too.

i dont think ive ever seen another clay animation game, but that damm light machine took be to damm long. and just re-read my post and thought id add we were talking about how rainbows happen in science class - sounded a bit gay in the original
CardJoe 19th May 2007, 10:33 Quote
It's a great game, i downloaded it from Home Of The Underdogs a while back, though I can't condone such a thing.
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