History of Video Games

1940

For the Westinghouse booth at the World’s Fair, Edward U. Condon programs a computer that plays the traditional game “Nim” in which players try to avoid picking up the last matchstick.

1947

Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann patent a “cathode ray tube amusement device.” Their game, which incorporates a cathode ray tube hooked to an oscilloscope display, challenges players to shoot a gun at a target.

1950

Claude Shannon and Alan Turing create the first ever chess-playing computers.

1952

A. S. Douglass programs OXO (a game known as noughts and crosses in the United Kingdom and tic-tac-toe in the United States)

1954

The first blackjack program is developed at New Mexico’s Los Alamos laboratories on an IBM-701 computer.