Spacewar! is considered to be the first video game ever made. It was developed in 1962 by Steve Russell, Martin Graetz, Wayne Wiitanen, Bob Saunders, Steve Piner, and others at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was written for the newly installed DEC PDP-1 minicomputer at MIT.
Spacewar! is a space combat game for two players. Each player controls a spaceship that can move around the screen and fire torpedoes at the other ship. The game also features a central star that exerts gravity on the ships, making it difficult to maneuver. The goal of the game is to destroy the other ship by hitting it with torpedoes.
Spacewar! was very influential in the early days of gaming. It was one of the first games to feature two-player combat, and it helped to popularize the space combat genre. The game’s design also influenced many later games, including Asteroids, Galaga, and Space Invaders.
Spacewar! is still playable today, and it can be found on many different platforms, including the internet, mobile phones, and even arcade machines. The game is still enjoyed by many people, and it is considered to be a classic of the video game world.
Here are some additional facts about Spacewar!:
- The game was inspired by science fiction books written by E.E. Doc Smith.
- The game was originally played using custom “control boxes” that were essentially also the first video game controllers.
- The game was public domain, and the code was available to anyone with access to it or who contacted Russell; no attempt was made to sell it commercially, as the programming community was too small to support any commercial industry.
- Spacewar! was extremely popular in the small programming community in the 1960s and was widely recreated on other minicomputer and mainframe computers of the time before migrating to early microcomputer systems in the 1970s.
- Spacewar! is considered to be one of the most important video games ever made, and it helped to lay the foundation for the modern video game industry.