Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Origins of Pong

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the back-and-forth-back-and-forth dept.

Classic Games (Games) 14

Gamasutra is running a feature about the origins and development of Pong, and how it helped to kick start the gaming industry. Quoting: "... games found their way onto even the earliest mainframes, starting the ongoing trend of implementing video games wherever a viable platform presented itself. The first known instance of an actual implementation was Alexander Douglas's 1952 creation of OXO (also known as Naughts and Crosses), a simple graphical single-player-versus-the-computer tic-tac-toe game on the EDSAC mainframe at the University of Cambridge. Although more proof of a concept than a compelling gameplay experience, OXO nevertheless set the precedent of using a computer to play games. The first known precursor of Pong debuted in 1958 on a visitors' day at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. It was there that William Higinbotham and Robert Dvorak demonstrated Tennis for Two, a small analog computer game that used an oscilloscope for its display."

cancel ×

14 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

according to the discussion page (3, Informative)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406731)

on the very article you linked to, even OXO was predated by a missile game in 1947 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=History_of_computer_and_video_games&oldid=50887750#The_beginning [wikipedia.org]

Re:according to the discussion page (4, Funny)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406751)

on the very article you linked to, even OXO was predated by a missile game in 1947

Exactly. And then, after endless draws in OXO, the computer finally suggested a nice game of chess.

Re:according to the discussion page (1)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406779)

Exactly. And then, after endless draws in OXO, the computer finally suggested a nice game of chess.

[Afterthought] Luckily for the computer, chess rarely leads to drawed games. Poor bastard. I imagine it suggested Russian Roulette next.

Re:according to the discussion page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26414135)

Given that there are only 10 posts under this topic, which is probably about the number of people left above college-aged kiddie that remember Pong and also still read Slashdot, it's probably also about the number of people on this whole site who will get that reference.

Re:according to the discussion page (2, Informative)

pines225 (1413303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406805)

The 1947 missile game may not have been built (we only know that it was patented), though the circuit diagrams would have allowed it. Which may be why the article calls OXO the first actual implementation in 1952.

But there were other working games before 1952. Two machines for playing the game Nim were built and demoed to the public before 1952: the Nimatron http://www.goodeveca.net/nimrod/nimatron.html [goodeveca.net] was built by Westinghouse in 1940 and played 100,000 games against members of the public, winning 90% of them. The Nimrod http://www.goodeveca.net/nimrod/index.html [goodeveca.net] was demoed in 1951 in Germany and reportedly caused such a furore that (a) the cops had to be called in, and (b) the free beer at the other end of the hall was ignored, according to Turing.

Re:NIMROD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26422347)

You forgot to mention that before being exhibited in Germany, the NIMROD was built in England and exhibited there for six months in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain. It was also designed to demonstrate digital computing principles BTW, even though it wasn't programmable. (The Nimatron was a relay operated machine.)

Re:according to the discussion page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407979)

It all goes back to the Babylonians, according to Cliff Clavin ("Cheers" TV series).

Area 51 (0)

stevedmc (1065590) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407315)

Pong is one of the amazing technologies that was developed at Area 51 with the assistance of space aliens.

The origins? (2, Funny)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407609)

Now, I'm not one to RTFA, but wouldn't that be table tennis?

Re:The origins? (1)

JustLikeToSay (651328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26419869)

It should have been called "waff" - consult the Mayor of London for more details

Noughts not Naughts (3, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407871)

The game is "noughts and crosses" in British English, and in that dialect "nought" means zero; (the circles in the game). "Naught" means "nothing" or "a failure". Variants of the same root, but used distinctly.

Analog computers rule! (1)

Rick Genter (315800) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408867)

I'm reminded of my high school days (early-to-mid 70s). We had these "analog computers"; basically there were these boxes that had an analog meter for displaying results and a patch panel where you used jumpers to connect various knobs (resistors), timing circuits (capacitors), and switches. We wired three of these things together to build a planetary landing simulator - it started as a lunar lander simulator, but then we added a knob for tweaking gravity :-). One meter was altitude, one was vertical speed and one was fuel. The object was to get your altitude to zero with your vertical speed below a certain level before your fuel went to zero. It tooks us hours to figure out how to wire it up, and many more hours of, um, "testing" to make sure we got it right :-). We really got wrapped in this thing; with all the knobs and switches and a little imagination it felt like we were controlling a LEM or something.

Analog computers rule!

Brown Box by Ralph Baer? (1)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415805)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_H._Baer [wikipedia.org]

Most people credit Ralph Baer with the invention of Pong and video games in 1966, in Nashua NH, at Sanders Associates (now part of BAE).

I have a personal slant on this version of history. My dad worked with Ralph as a component engineer, acquiring some unusual transistors and ICs for the project.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>