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Computers as Theatre, Second Edition by Brenda Laurel

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1. The Nature of the Beast

In 1962, The first modern video game was invented by some hackers at MIT. It was called Spacewar!, and it ran on a DEC PDP-1, the world’s first mini-computer, connected to a CRT display. One of the game’s designers explained that the game was born as a group sat around trying to figure out what sort of “interesting displays” they could create for the CRT with some pattern-generating software they had developed. “We decided that probably, you could make a two-dimensional maneuvering sort of thing, and decided that naturally the obvious thing to do was spaceships.” The MIT hackers weren’t the only ones to invent Spacewar!. As Alan Kay noted, “the game of Spacewar! blossoms spontaneously wherever there is a graphics display ...

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