50 Years of early gaming history

A lot has happened in the last 50 years regarding gaming and we are still not sure what the future will hold. Whether if that might be games including holograms or a new improved VR, we do not know yet. This article will take you back to the beginning of gaming and explain how it all began.


The first game machine was invented by Dr Edward Uhler Condon, an american nuclear physicist. At the New York world’s fair in 1940, the creation was unveiled. Based on the ancient mathematical game “Nim”, it was played by about 50,000 people during the six months it was displayed. The computer won about 90 percent of the games.


Mathematician and engineer Claude Shannon explained the guidelines of how to program a chess-playing computer in an article of The London, Edinburgh and Dublin philosophical magazine. Later that year, him and Alan Turing both created chess programs


The “Brown Box” was a prototype released by Ralph Baer and his team. A vacuum tube-circuit that could be connected to a television set, the “Brown Box” let two people play together. The game consisted of control cubes that chased each other. The game could be programmed to play a variety of games, like checkers, ping pong and others. The game had accessories like a lightgun that could be used for a target shooting game and at this time, the technology was advanced. It was licensed to a company called Magnavox and it was released as the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972.


The company Atari had developed their own games and in 1973, they began selling the first real electronic video game. The game was called Pong and this was the beginning of the “arcade” industry. Arcade machines where one could play Pong could be found in bars, shopping malls in bowling alleys all around the world.

The “tech-heads” of this time realised that this could become something big, so between the years 1972 and 1985 there were more than 15 different companies that started developing video games for this new, growing market.


This year Atari introduced a version of Pong that could be played at home. This was the beginning of a new era, the at home gaming era.


The Japanese company Namco’ employee Toru Iwatani created one of the world most recognized video games in 1980; Pac-Man. He was inspired by a missing slice of pizza and that year an Atari 2600 Pac-Man version was the first arcade game that could be played at home. Two years later, Ms.Pac-Man became the best-selling arcade game of all time, it helped improve gender equality.


Sega introduced the world to Sonic the Hedgehog and he was loved by everyone. Gamers, specifically gamers from the United States, started playing Sega’s Sonic games with great success.