Witness to history: How the computer game revolution started

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Computer games or video games are now so popular among children of one age that they do not want to leave the computer once they sit down to play games. This popularity has also become a cause of concern for many parents.

But how did this computer game first become popular at home?

The BBC’s Luis Hidalgo talks to one of the creators of the computer game Pong, which became hugely popular in the 1980’s – this episode of Witness to History.

Speaking of 1982. One such thing was invented in the garage of a house in the state of California in the United States – which today has become a multi-billion dollar worldwide business.

“It was originally created as a training project for one of our engineers. So we were able to work on it and make some improvements,” said Nolan Bushnell, one of the founders of Pong and one of the founders of the computer game company Atari. ( Our-It )

“It simply came to our notice then. The whole thing turned out to be a very interesting game.

The name of this game was Pong. It is a simple version of playing table tennis on a computer screen.

“It was a game based on table tennis. It has a ball – it’s moving from side to side – and there’s a paddle, it’s seen on the screen as a white quadrilateral. The ball will be served from the middle of the net. If you hit it in the middle with your white quadrilateral, it will keep going in the opposite direction – and then your opponent will be able to block it with another white quadrilateral. “

Nolan Bushnell and his friend Ted Dabney then set up a computer game company – which they called Atari.

In Sunnyvale, California, Bushnell requested a bar called Andy Caps Tavern – to make this pong game an arcade video game.

It was then that he and his co-founder realized that they were facing something of enormous potential.

“We had an agreement with Bally Manufacturing then. The agreement was – we would make a driving video game for them. But after making this table tennis game, we thought, hey, maybe they will like it. Our agreement will be fulfilled.” We tried to get them to play this game. But they said no, we want a driving game. “

“Anyway, this game remained in our hands, and in the end, I made 13 gaming machines and sold them for cash. After that, I made another 45 hours. The rest is history.”

But when did they realize that – they had discovered something so huge that they themselves could not have imagined before?

“I realized that day – the day we opened the cashbox. I saw that the box was full of coins. The game that is to be played with coins, how successful it is, but you can only see how much money people have spent on it. If you could earn a dollar, you would think that you have made a lot of money. At that time, pong games were earning 35, 40, or even 50 dollars a day. From this, we realized that our game was successful. “

Two years later, Atari Company developed a home version of this pong game. It could be connected to a TV with a cable. And that’s where the home video game revolution began.

By 1975, the pong game had become one of the most sought-after Christmas gifts for children. And his appeal has spread across the Atlantic.

This makes it possible to turn your television set into a computer game – one that can be played by two people. For this, first, the TV had to be turned off and its aerial connection had to be disconnected.

After that, the cable of the game simulator had to be connected to the TV and the TV had to be turned on again. The two players would start playing tennis on the TV screen with two game controllers in hand.

Bushnell says there are several reasons why Pong has been so successful as a game.

“I think there are two or three reasons for this. It was a fun accident in a special space-time vessel. The game was something that used the tiny muscles of the body. You can. “

“It was a time of Women’s Lib or Women’s Liberation, and it was great empowerment for girls through this game. It was like playing one game – you win or you lose – you can’t live without playing another game. “

“The number three reason is that people back then had never seen a game before – one that was so modern and fun, and one that was so easy to understand and control.” ( Our-It )

Bushnell was asked what exactly they thought of Pong’s success and how surprised they were as its discoverer.

“The quantity of cash it absolutely was creating was an enormous surprise. then again – we have a tendency to be too busy deciding the way to use the growing quality of it. there have been such a large amount of orders coming back therein it absolutely was on the far side our capability to deliver.”

“We did not have a mill, we have a tendency to did not have a system or method to run this business. we have a tendency to were terribly young, we have a tendency to were terribly inexperienced. we have a tendency to have to be told to try and do it.”

“I did a calculation once. therein 1st year we have a tendency to WHO were managing it – our financial gain was fifty cents Associate in Nursing hour. we have a tendency to were obtaining some wage however operating seven days every week.”

By then Nolan had affected his attic unit from the garage to the Associate in Nursing workplace engineered on a former skating building. From there, they began to undertake to fulfill Pong’s growing demand.

“We were doing tons of labor with another company as a sub-contract. Game machine cupboards were being settled. we’d purchase normal tv sets at wholesale costs, modify them and place them in cupboards. Then attach the pc to that and check it.” Would are, and would be sent to the client. the total factor was quite a problem. “

Video play has currently become a multi-billion dollar business. Did the Bushnells understand then that this may happen?

“I bear in mind in some unspecified time in the future I used to be driving into our workplace. I saw tons of cars positioned near, there was no area within the automobile parking space. the sport is on – and that is wherever the economy came from. “

“It merely came to our notice then.

“I was twenty-six at the time. Most of the executives at my company were getting ready to that age. And most of our workers were younger than that. several were in their twenties. It wasn’t quite common then.”

“Today, I think, I paved the method for Steve Jobs, entrepreneur – WHO came once Pine Tree State – as a result of I had ne’er before been the business executive of an outsized company in his twenties. it absolutely was a special time.”

“When I started, my mater thought I used to be feat an honest job to require a risky job. She said, ‘Nolan, you were doing a really smart job! then again she realized that what I used to be doing was a good factor.’

Nolan David Bushnell is taken into account as one of the founders of the computer game business. Newsweek lists him among the fifty people that have modified America.

Pong became therefore in style within u. s. within the 1960’s that it’s aforementioned to own caused a shortage of twenty-five cents within the country. and also the computer game business has been evolving ever since.

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