THE HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMES
VIDEO GAMES ARE EVERYWHERE AND
ARE FAMOUS ALL AROUND THE GLOBE.
HERE, YOU ARE GOING TO LEARN A
LITTLE MORE ABOUT THEM; STARTING
FROM A DEFINITION TO A DEBATE
ABOUT ITS PROS AND CONS. LET'S SEE
HOW MUCH YOU KNOW ABOUT GAMES!
First of all, you will need to have a clear definition
of what video games are.
Once you have done that, you will have to do a
short timeline about the first video games.
Finally, you will have to make a brainstorming as
regards the pros and cons of gaming, choose a side
and start to prepare a debate in order to defend
your position. For this final project, the class will
be separated in two big groups (for and against).
Let's get started!
For the definition of video games, you will have to do a
brainstorming and think about what a game implies. Use
your own words.
As regards the timeline, you will have to read an article
about the first games in the history of gaming. Once you
have done this, you will have do a short and brief
Finally, you will have to read a chart about the pros and
cons of gaming. Then, you will have to do another
brainstorming about other advantages and disadvantages
that are not in the chart, choose if you are for or against
gaming and start preparing a speech for the debate.
Production will be the focus of evaluation;
the time and the effort you give to each
assignment will be taken into account. The
way you defend your point of view in the
debate will be important as regards the
evaluation of the final project.
After investigating about the topic, you will
have learned how to do a debate; starting
from the definition, then reading about its
impact or history through the years,
brainstorming about its advantages and
disadvantages and how to defend your
WHAT IS A VIDEO GAME? WHAT
WOULD YOU SAY, IN YOUR OWN
WORDS, WHAT A VIDEO GAME IS?
Read the following definitions of video game and
see if your definition is similar to these:
“An electronic or computerized game played by
manipulating images on a video display or
“A video games is an electronic game that has an
interface designed for human interaction on a
GOING BACK IN TIME
Read the following article about the first video games in the history of gaming.
In 1952, A. S. Douglas wrote his PhD degree at the University of Cambridge
on Human-Computer interracti on . Douglas created t he first graphi cal computer
game - a versi on of Tic-Tac-Toe. The game was programmed on a EDSAC vaccuumtube computer, which had a cathode ray tube display.
William Higinbotham created the fi rst video game ever in 1958. His game,
called "Tenni s for Two," was created and played on a Brookhaven Nati onal
Laborator y oscilloscope. In 1962, Steve Russell invented SpaceWar !. Spacewar ! was
the first game intended for computer use. Russell used a MIT PDP- 1 mainf rame
computer to design his game.
In 1967, Ralph Baer wrote the fi rst video game played on a tel evisi on set , a
game called Chase. Ralph Baer was then part of Sande rs Associates, a militar y
el ect ronics fi rm. Ralph Baer fi rst concei ved of his i dea i n 1951 while worki ng for
Loral, a television company.
In 1971, Nolan Bushnell toget her wi th Ted Dabney, created the fi rst arcade
game. It was called Computer Space, based on Steve Russell's earli er game of
Spacewar !. The arcade game Pong was created by Nolan Bushnell (with help from Al
Alcorn) a year l ater in 1972. Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney started Atari Computers
that same year. In 1975, Atari re-rel eased Pong as a home video game.
Larr y Kerecman was one of t he fi rst operators of video arcade games ,
including Computer Space. He writes that , "The brilliance of these machines was
that Nolan Bushnell and com pany took what was computer programming (in Space
War) and t ranslated it into a simpl er versi on of the game (no gravit y) using hardwired l ogi c ci rcuit s. The printed ci rcuit boards that comprise el ect ronics of t hese
games use integrated ci rcuits called small-scale integrated ci rcuits. They consist of
discrete l ogic chips and gates or gates, 4-line to 16-line decoders, etc. st raight out
of the Texas I nst ruments catalog . The shape of t he rocket ship and fl ying saucer
even are vi sible in a pattern of di odes on the PC board." In 1972, the fi rst
commerci al video game console that could be played in the home, the Odyssey was
released by Magnavox and designed by Ralph Baer. The game machine was originall y
designed while Ralph Baer was still at Sanders Associates i n 1966, Baer managed to
gain his l egal ri ghts to the machine after Sanders Associates rejected it. The Odyssey
came programmed with twelve games.
In 1976, Fai rchild rel eased the fi rst programmabl e home game consol e
called t he Fai rchild Video E ntertainment System, and later renamed Channel F.
Channel F was one of the first el ect ronic systems to use the new ly invented
microchip inve nted by Rober t Noyce for the Fai rchild Semiconductor Corporati on
that allowed video games to not be limited by the number of T TL switches.
On June 17, 1980, Atari 's "Asteroi ds" and "Lunar Lander" were the fi rst t wo
video games to ever be registered in the Copyright Office.
REPRESENTING THE PAST
After reading the article, do a short and brief
timeline summarizing what you have just read.
PROS AND CONS
Many games can be very sociable, either
playing against your mates on the sofa or
online with other people
Many other games are aimed for single player
and so could be criticized for isolation you
from family and friends for many hours
Here be have a chart you the They can take lot of hours, that
Games canwe intellectual wherewithuse pros and cons of gaming. time could be
clever strategy to beat other people
spent doing something more productive or
Games can be educational such as simulations
of flight or real-life situations
Constant use of thumbs, wrist and eyes can
lead to problems such as eye strain, RSI and
other physical problems
Improved eye-hand co-ordination for playing
those fast action games
Games do not need much physical activity and
so could be criticized for making you unfit.
Improves reaction times and quick thinking as
a result of playing challenging games
The hardware and software together are quite
expensive, which can be a challenge when
balancing what you want to spend your money
Games are plain fun!
After reading, think of more advantages or
disadvantages that are not mentioned in the chart.
Choose a side and prepare a speech to defend your