3
   

Why didn't video games, which originated in the '40s, gain mainstream popularity until the '70s?

 
 
Reply Wed 31 Jul, 2019 03:05 pm
Hi. This is a good question. Something I am a bit curious about.

If videogames have actually been around since the 1940's, how come they weren't popularized, publicized and commercialized till the 1970's?

I've always thought video games were around since the '70s, until I saw this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_games
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_history_of_video_games
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathode-ray_tube_amusement_device
https://www.digitiser2000.com/main-page/the-pre-history-of-video-games-1947-1959
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC_game

The U.S. military was responsible for creating the earliest video games. How come most people didn't know about this? How come video games weren't popularized, publicized and commercialized till the 1970's? The '70s was when gaming consoles and arcade games first came out. Video games got even more popular when PCs came out in the '80s.

Was the U.S. military trying to hide something? Were they "afraid" of something? What stopped video games from getting mainstream popularity until the '70s?

Please help- thank you.
 
Rebelofnj
 
  4  
Reply Wed 31 Jul, 2019 08:37 pm
@JGoldman10,
According to the links you failed to read properly, it took years for technology capable of playing games to become smaller and cheaper for household use. There was no nefarious or ulterior motive by the military to keep the tech a secret.

Until the late 70s, only universities had these early games as demonstrations of computer programming.
Jewels Vern
 
  3  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 05:35 am
@JGoldman10,
You might notice that the cathode ray tube was almost the only display device in the early years. I bought a Heathkit oscilloscope in 1957 for $45. Wages at the time were 60 cents an hour. I had to work almost two weeks to buy that. Now you can buy a color monitor for about five to ten hours wages.

The first actual commercial game was Pong and it connected a b&w tv. A Pong game cost $100, about the same as the tv it was connected to. Wages then were running about $3 per hour, so again, two weeks work to own a game.
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 10:40 am
@Jewels Vern,
You're wrong. The first commercial video game was NOT Pong, it was a game called Computer Space:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_games#The_commercialization_of_video_games :

"By 1970, the introduction of medium scale integration (MSI) transistor–transistor logic (TTL) circuits combining multiple transistors on a single microchip had resulted in another significant reduction in the cost of computing and ushered in a new wave of minicomputers costing under $10,000. While still far too costly for the home, these advances lowered the cost of computing enough that it could be seriously considered for the coin-operated games industry, which at the time was experiencing its own technological renaissance as large electro-mechanical target shooting and driving games like Sega Enterprises's Periscope (1967) and Chicago Coin's Speedway (1969) pioneered the adoption of elaborate visual displays and electronic sound effects in the amusement arcade. Consequently, when a recent engineering graduate from Utah with experience running coin-operated equipment named Nolan Bushnell first saw Spacewar! at SAIL in late 1969 or early 1970, he resolved to build a coin-operated version for public consumption. Enlisting the aid of an older and more experienced engineer named Ted Dabney, Bushnell built a variant of the game called Computer Space in which a single player-controlled spaceship dueled two hardware-controlled flying saucers. Released in late November or early December 1971 through Nutting Associates, the game failed to have much impact in the coin-operated marketplace.

Meanwhile, Ralph Baer, an engineer with a degree in television engineering working for defense contractor Sanders Associates, had been working since 1966 on a video game system that could be plugged into a standard television set. Working primarily with technician Bill Harrison, who built most of the actual hardware, Baer developed a series of prototype systems between 1966 and 1969 based around diode–transistor logic (DTL) circuits that sent a video signal to a television set to generate spots on the screen that could be controlled by the players. Originally able to generate only two spots, the system was modified in November 1967 at the suggestion of engineer Bill Rusch to generate a third spot for use in a table tennis game in which each player controlled a single spot that served as a paddle and volleyed the third spot, which acted as a ball. In 1971, Sanders concluded a licensing agreement with television company Magnavox to release the system, which reached the market in September 1972 as the Magnavox Odyssey. The system launched with a dozen games included in the box, four more sold with a separate light gun, and six games sold separately, most of which were chase, racing, target shooting, or sports games. These games were activated using plug-in circuit cards that defined how the spots generated by the hardware would behave. Due to the limited abilities of the system, which could only render three spots and a line, most of the graphic and gameplay elements were actually defined by plastic overlays attached to the TV set along with accessories like boards, cards, and dice. Like Computer Space the Odyssey only performed modestly and failed to jump start a new industry. However, the system did directly influence the birth of a vibrant video arcade game industry after Ralph Baer's design ingenuity intersected Nolan Bushnell's entrepreneurial ambition."

Pong didn't come out until a year later:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_games#Early_arcade_video_games_(1972%E2%80%931978) :

"In 1972, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney decided to strike out on their own and incorporated their preexisting partnership as Atari. After seeing a demonstration of the Magnavox Odyssey ahead of its release, Bushnell charged new hire Allan Alcorn to create a version of that system's table tennis game as a practice project to familiarize himself with video game design. Alcorn's version ended up being so fun that Atari decided to release it as Pong. Available in limited quantities in late 1972, Pong began reaching the market in quantity in March 1973, after which it ignited a new craze for ball-and-paddle video games in the coin-operated amusement industry. The success of Pong did not result in the displacement of traditional arcade amusements like pinball, but did lay the foundation for a successful video arcade game industry. Roughly 70,000 video games, mostly ball-and-paddle variants, were sold in 1973 by a combination of recent startups like Atari, Ramtek, and Allied Leisure and established Chicago firms like Williams, Chicago Coin, and the Midway subsidiary of Bally Manufacturing."

The Magnavox Odyssey came out before the first Atari console did. I think the reason most people don't know about the Odyssey, I presume, is because according to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_games#First_generation_of_home_consoles_and_the_Pong_clones_(1972%E2%80%931978) :

it "never caught on with the public, due largely to the limited functionality of its primitive technology."
0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 02:46 pm
@Jewels Vern,
I first learned of the Magnavox Odyssey and the man who invented it from watching this doc on G4TV:



In case you're wondering what G4TV is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G4_(American_TV_channel)
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 03:42 pm
@Rebelofnj,
Rebelofnj wrote:


There was no nefarious or ulterior motive by the military to keep the tech a secret.



I never said there was.

How come commercialized Internet access didn't come out until '95? I know the first ISPs were around in the late '80s and the first web browsers weren't in development until 1989:

https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/24/18238493/cern-original-worldwideweb-browser-online-museum-history-web

The World Wide Web was invented in 1989:

https://webfoundation.org/about/vision/history-of-the-web/

The Internet had been around since the '60s, but before it was commercialized it something it was something that only the U.S. military and commercial businesses used.

In the '80s businesses used what was called "BBS":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulletin_board_system

Did you ever see the movie War Games? The original with Matthew Broderick, not the more recent remake.

That movie gives you an idea of what the Internet was like back in the '80s. The U.S. military was using it.

If the Internet had been around since the '60s, why wasn't it commercialized until 1995?

Was the U.S. military "afraid" of what might have happened if such tech had been available to the public? Were they afraid of such tech "falling into the wrong hands"?
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 03:47 pm
@Rebelofnj,
I didn't fail to read anything. I took cursory glances at some of the articles at some of the links I posted.
0 Replies
 
Rebelofnj
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 04:15 pm
@JGoldman10,
Because the technology was limited and not ready for consumer use, not to mention the high cost for computers in the 80s. The communication infrastructure was not ready for widespread use of the internet at the time.

There is also the fact that the general public are slow in adopting new technologies and economic ideas.
In sociology, it is called the Technology Adoption Life Cycle.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_adoption_life_cycle
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 04:38 pm
@Rebelofnj,
Lord memory was sold by the boards with a few thousand memory coils repeat coils on a board.

It look real pretty indeed an I wish I have keep a few such boards.

As far as the internet is concern I remember almost causing a friend to be divorce due to us tying up his phone line for a few hours transferring a few hundreds thousands k file.

Footnote the professor in a collage level fortran course told us that we should enjoy having access to a main frame to fool around with as we was likely never to enjoy that degree of access again.

We was limited to 30 seconds run time on the computer by the way.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 04:57 pm
I just saw someone wish to go back the the 1940s and 1950s the time of cycling mercury wave tanks for memory and later RTL logic chips that ran on on 3.6 volts and many many amps to power a small array of chips.

When you saw the power cord you just knew that your power bill is going up.

JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 04:57 pm
@Rebelofnj,
Rebelofnj wrote:
.

There is also the fact that the general public are slow in adopting new technologies and economic ideas.



That's probably why it took me a long time to get accustomed to current modern-day tech. Why I was so stubborn to adapt to some of it.

I think that's probably why tech companies were pressuring people to keep up with modern tech and didn't stop until they inevitably gave in- right?
0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 04:58 pm
@BillRM,
Hello Bill, how are you? Fancy seeing you here.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 04:59 pm
@JGoldman10,
JGoldman10 wrote:

Hello Bill, how are you? Fancy seeing you here.


Same back to you
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 08:10 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

JGoldman10 wrote:

Hello Bill, how are you? Fancy seeing you here.


Same back to you


I am surprised. I thought you said you were leaving the site.
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 08:11 pm
@JGoldman10,
JGoldman10 wrote:

I first learned of the Magnavox Odyssey and the man who invented it from watching this doc on G4TV:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0DFanSOt5c[/youtube]

In case you're wondering what G4TV is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G4_(American_TV_channel)


FIXED.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Aug, 2019 08:16 pm
@JGoldman10,
JGoldman10 wrote:

BillRM wrote:

JGoldman10 wrote:

Hello Bill, how are you? Fancy seeing you here.


Same back to you


I am surprised. I thought you said you were leaving the site.


I did leave the site for over two years.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Aug, 2019 07:21 am
@JGoldman10,
JGoldman10 wrote:

Rebelofnj wrote:


There was no nefarious or ulterior motive by the military to keep the tech a secret.



I never said there was.

How come commercialized Internet access didn't come out until '95? I know the first ISPs were around in the late '80s and the first web browsers weren't in development until 1989:

https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/24/18238493/cern-original-worldwideweb-browser-online-museum-history-web

The World Wide Web was invented in 1989:

https://webfoundation.org/about/vision/history-of-the-web/

The Internet had been around since the '60s, but before it was commercialized it something it was something that only the U.S. military and commercial businesses used.

In the '80s businesses used what was called "BBS":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulletin_board_system

Did you ever see the movie War Games? The original with Matthew Broderick, not the more recent remake.

That movie gives you an idea of what the Internet was like back in the '80s. The U.S. military was using it.

If the Internet had been around since the '60s, why wasn't it commercialized until 1995?

Was the U.S. military "afraid" of what might have happened if such tech had been available to the public? Were they afraid of such tech "falling into the wrong hands"?


Direct phone lines connections as shown in the movie you was referring to is not the internet as the internet is packets sharing/routing on a network.

Ran a few BBSs myself and they was also not the internet as they used direct connections between computers by way of the phone company not packet switching as the internet does.
JGoldman10
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 3 Aug, 2019 07:04 pm
@BillRM,
Bill, if you don't mind me saying so here, you told me in PM you were leaving the site because you were concerned about your mental health being affected, and you said I shouldn't PM you because you wouldn't respond to my PMs.

Why the change of heart?
cherrie
 
  3  
Reply Sun 4 Aug, 2019 01:51 am
@JGoldman10,
Quote:
Bill, if you don't mind me saying so here,


It's a bit late now if he does mind.
If I told someone something in a pm I'd be pretty pissed off if they repeated it on the forum for everyone to see.
JGoldman10
 
  -3  
Reply Sun 4 Aug, 2019 10:21 am
@cherrie,
Is your name Bill? Are you a FRIEND? No- I wasn't talking to you. Please butt out.
0 Replies
 
 

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