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Space War 1962
Image courtesy of The Computer Museum History Center

Space War!
This nOde last updated May 16th, 2001 and is permanently morphing...
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1962 - SpaceWar!

internal linkMIT students Slug Russell, Shag Graetz, and Alan Kotok wrote SpaceWar!, considered the first interactive computer game. First played at MIT on DEC's PDP-1, the large-scope display featured interactive, shoot-'em-up graphics that inspired future video games. Dueling players fired at each other's spaceships and used early versions of joysticks to manipulate away from the central internal linkgravitationalinternal linkforce of a internal linksun as well as from the enemy ship. 

Sol


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Spacewar! was conceived in 1961 by Martin Graetz, Stephen Russell, and Wayne Wiitanen. It was first realized on the PDP-1 in 1962 by Stephen Russell, Peter Samson, Dan Edwards, and Martin Graetz, together with Alan Kotok, Steve Piner, and Robert A Saunders.


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1971 internal linkNolan Bushnell builds his first  videogame, internal linkComputer Space.   This commercial version of  'SPACEWAR' proves to be far ahead of its internal linktime. The complex  rules and abstract nature of the  play mystify and intimidate  players. It flops.  1971 Shortly after Bushnell unveils  'Computer Space.' another  M.I.T. student named Bill Pitts  produces his own 'Spacewar'  variant. GALAXY GAME is even  less successful; the prototype  was the only version ever put  together.
  
Nolan Bushnell playing Go!


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'Spacewar' was programmed by MIT student Steve Russell in 1961 for the DEC PDP-1. The game had a cult following at MIT and circulated computer labs across the country before Bushnell would play it in a research lab while an undergraduate at the University of Utah in 1965. Bushnell later released his coin-op version through Nutting Associates as 'Computer Space' in 1971.
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