As a vintage video gaming enthusiast, I’ve always been particularly interested in thehistory of video games. Even more specifically, a subject that I am very passionate about is “Which was the first video game ever created?”… So, I started a deep investigation on this subject (and making this article, the first in a series of articles that will cover in detail all video gaming history). The question was: Which was the first video game ever created?The answer: Well, as many other things in life, there is no easy answer to that question. It depends on your own definition of the term “video game”. For example: When you refer to the term “the first video game”, do you mean the first video game that was commercially-made, or the first console game, or maybe the first digitally programmed game? Because of this, I made a short list of video games that in one way or another were the pioneers of the video gaming industry. You will notice that these original video games were not created with the idea of getting any profit from them (back in those decades there was no Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Sega, Atari, or any other video game company around). Actually, the sole idea of a “video game” or an electronic device which only purpose was “playing games and having fun” was impossible to conceive by more than 99% of the population back in those days. But thanks to this small group of geniuses who walked the first steps into the video gaming revolution, we can enjoy many hours of fun and entertainment today (not to mention the creation of millions of jobs during the past 40-50 years). Without further ado, here I present the “first video game nominees”:1940s: Cathode Ray Tube Amusement DeviceThis is considered (with official documentation) as the first electronic game device ever made. It was created by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann. The device was assembled in the 1940s and submitted for an US Patent in January 1947. The patent was granted December 1948, which means that it is also the first electronic game system to ever receive a patent (US Patent 2,455,992). As described in the patent, it consisted of an analog circuit device with an array of knobs used to control a dot that showed in the cathode ray tube display. The video game was created after how missiles appeared in WWII radars, and the idea of the game was simply controlling a “missile” that should hit a target. In the 1940s it was virtually impossible to show graphics in a Cathode Ray Tube display.
So, only the actual “missile” appeared on the display. All other graphics including the target were showed on screen overlays manually placed on the display screen. It’s been said by many that Atari’s famous video game “Missile Command” was created based in this gaming system.1951: NIMRODNIMROD was the name of a digital computer device from the 50s decade. The designers of this computer were the engineers of an UK-based enterprise under the name Ferranti, with the purpose of showing the device at the 1951 Festival of Britain (and after some time it was also showed in Berlin). NIM is a two-player mathematical game of strategy, which could be originated in the ancient China. NIM game rules are easy: There are a certain number of “heaps” (groups of objects), and each group contains a certain number of objects (a common starting array of NIM is 3 heaps containing 3, 4, and 5 objects respectively). Each player remove objects from the heaps in turns, but all removed objects must be from a single heap and at least one object is removed. The player who takes the last object of the last heap is the loser, however there is a variation of the game where the player to take the last object of the last heap is the winner.NIMROD used a panel full of lights as a display and was designed and created with the sole purpose of playing a game called NIM, which makes it the first digital computer device to be designed exclusively for playing a game (although the main idea was to show and illustrate how a digital computer works, rather than as a way of entertainment and ha