Entries from The Gameshelf tagged with 'history'

XCOM: A Link to the Past

Sad to report that television pioneer Gerry Anderson passed away today. I’d like to briefly recognize an interesting and surprising connection between one of his works — perhaps one lesser-known outside of Europe — and the modern videogame landscape. The...

Spacewar at MIT

Today I dropped by MIT to see a demo of Spacewar, the Very First Videogame -- originally written for the PDP-1 in 1962; now reconstructed by GAMBIT for the Arduino. My photos aren't terrifically clear, but you can see the...

Speaking of Breakout

A coincidence apropos to this week’s biggest technology-news story: While researching my Pilgrim book review, I discovered that the person Atari contracted to implement the first Breakout prototype in 1975 was Steve Jobs. Yes, the very same. Naturally, he subcontracted...

David Sudnow: Pilgrim in the Microworld

Near the beginning of David Sudnow’s Pilgrim in the Microworld, published in 1983, the author, a Berkeley-based sociologist and polymath, describes his discovery of the Atari VCS at a friend’s party. Missile Command in particular intrigued him so much that...

42, in a Texan dialect

According to Wikipedia, Texans have long considered the dominoes game called 42 their very own statewide pastime. Texas State Rep. Erwin Cain has successfully led an effort to make this official, introducing his bill on the State House floor with...

The World was Without Form

Jason Dyer explores Will Crowther’s Adventure — the truly original proto-game, that is, before Don Woods got his hands on its source code and turned it into the work that defined computer-based gameplay for many years. I was under the...

Jeff Grubb on Spelljammer's origins

Dungeons and Dragons design veteran Jeff Grub recalls the origins of Spelljammer, an early-1990s D&D supplement that allowed players to launch their faux-medieval fantasy campaigns into outer space. Here is the image I pitched. A knight standing on the deck...

The techy post, part 4 of 4

So, here's the Glk and Glulx update plans for 2011....

The techy post, part 3 of 4

The current state of the Inform and Glulx universe......

The techy post, part 2 of 4

Sorry, we've experienced a bit of post bloat. This series will be four parts, not three. (Just four, though.)...

The techy post, part 1 of 3

I spin a bunch of verbiage on the Kickstarter page (and in the video) about Glulx and Quixe and other silly words. Long-time IF aficionados (with your bottles of aficiolemonade, yes, I know I've made that joke before)... sorry. Long-time...

Weekend links: two on chess

Via the New York Times’ “Gambit” chess blog, we learn of a new controversy surrounding… well, not so much a very old game as a set of very old game pieces, with new evidence causing some to question the national...

IF News & Dungeon Report

It's been a crazy couple of weeks in IF, and we're expecting several more months of crazy on the horizon. Aaron Reed's book Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 has gone to the printer. You can pre-order it through Amazon....

The Silver Age

I wish to make an extended footnote on last Monday's post, regarding further similarities I see between the comics and video game markets. When I was in high school I went through a profound comics-geek phase where, beyond the typical...

System's Twilight turns fifteen

Fifteen years ago today, I released my first full-scale original game: System's Twilight. And when I say "released", I mean "I uploaded it to the Info-Mac FTP archive at SUMEX-AIM." I set up a web page for the game, but...

Anna Anthropy on good level design

Love this lecture from Anna Anthropy on good platformer level design, using a thin but rich slice of "Super Mario Land" (Satoru Okada, Game Boy, 1989) as an anatomical model....

Dave Arneson, 1947-2009

A year ago I wrote about the death of Gary Gygax, and what his life meant for the birth of computer games. All the same applies, and perhaps even more so, to Dave Arneson, who passed away this week. As...

Matt is speedcubing again

My friend (and several-time Gameshelf TV star) Matthew Morse is getting back into speedcubing, the ancient art of solving a thoroughly scrambled Rubik's Cube wicked fast. He started out by buying a new cube, since his old one, while a...

Quick report: Ralph Baer's talk

This was the most crowded I'd ever seen a Post Mortem gathering, and the packed room was bursting with love for the speaker. When Baer showed a video of his 1967 self and a colleague demonstrating "the ping-pong game", the...

Ralph Baer speaking at Boston Post Mortem

The August 5 gathering of Boston Post Mortem, a casual, beerful get-together of professional (and otherwise) video game developers, will feature a presentation by Ralph Baer, the man often credited as the inventor of the home game console. He'll have...

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