Technology has always fascinated me, so what you see before you is recognised as the earliest example of the video game and it’s called the ‘Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device‘. It was invented by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann.
It’s a game of skill where a player sits or lies in front of a Cathode Ray Tube mounted in a closet. I was always told those things are lethal, anyhow the analogue device was inspired by a radar commonly use in the second World War to control missiles. Handy!. Using knobs to adjust the speed and trajectory, a plane was represented by a single point and the scores were assigned by hand. To be honest, it doesn’t look very inspiring does it?.
Later in the 50’s and 60’s these types of games were further developed onto mainframe computers. However it wasn’t until 1971 when the first commercially viable video game hit the market. It was Computer Space created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, who would later found Atari Inc. It was the world’s first commercially sold coin-operated video game, whilst Magnavox Odyssey followed six months later, and Atari’s Pong another year later.