The Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device (CRT Amusement Device) is the earliest known interactive electronic game as well as the first game to incorporate an electronic display. It was invented by physicists Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann in 1947.
The CRT Amusement Device is a simple game that simulates an artillery shell arcing towards targets on a cathode-ray tube (CRT) screen. The player controls the trajectory of the shell by adjusting knobs on the device. The game also features plastic targets that the player can try to hit with the shell.
The CRT Amusement Device was never commercially produced, but it is considered to be an important precursor to modern video games. It was the first game to use a CRT screen to display graphics, and it was also the first game to be controlled by a player in real time.
Here are some additional details about how the CRT Amusement Device works:
- The game is played on a CRT screen that is connected to basic oscilloscope type circuitry.
- The player controls the trajectory of the shell by adjusting two knobs on the device. One knob controls the angle of the shell, and the other knob controls the power of the shell.
- The CRT projects a spot on the display screen, which traces a curved arc across the screen when a switch is activated by the player. This beam spot represents the trajectory of the artillery shell.
- Plastic targets are overlaid on the screen. The player scores points by hitting the targets with the shell.
The CRT Amusement Device was a significant technological achievement, and it paved the way for the development of modern video games. It is a fascinating piece of gaming history, and it is worth learning more about if you are interested in the history of video games.