Spacewar! (was Re: Laser display...)

From: Martin Scott Goldberg <>
Date: Thu Feb 17 22:25:27 2005

>Someone wrote:
>> Spacewar, yes. One could argue it was the very first video game.
>I wrote:
>> You don't have to argue. A court ruled that it was.
>der Mouse wrote:
>> Then it probably actually wasn't.</cynic> Do you happen to know more?
>> I'd be curious what case might be such that a court would have occasion
>> to rule on that question.
>Patent litigation between two video game companies. Spacewar was
>used as prior art.

Except that the court ruled it was not, and Ralph likes to bring up the
fact. I'm not aware of any litigation between Magnavox and anyone else
that they lost. In fact, most companies wound up paying Magnavox
royalties or licensing fees. Including Atari.

>"Tennis for Two" by Willy Higinbotham and Robert Dvorak of Brookhaven
>National Laboratory in 1958 is often cited as an early video game, but
>there is apparently some controversy as some people don't consider it to
>be a true video game. I don't know enough about it to offer an opinion.

The idea is what constitutes a "video game" (at least the way Ralph likes
to promote it) is a crt receiving a televised r/f (or simulating it ala a
console) signal ala a television. Apparently television is
synonymous to "video" for Ralph. Which is also why he doesn't consider
arcade video games to be actual "video" games. Though technically Atari's
Pong could be - it use a literal television set inside.


Received on Thu Feb 17 2005 - 22:25:27 GMT

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