Video instructions and help with filling out and completing How Form 2220 Historical

Instructions and Help about How Form 2220 Historical

Hey there so in the coming weeks we're going to be trying out some new episode formats including this one which we're calling secret histories don't worry the regular episodes aren't going anywhere but please let us know what you think and I hope you like it video games about war are obviously very popular and that war is becoming more like a video game I mean look at this controller for a remote weapon system look familiar well what if I told you that the United States military played a huge role in the invention of video games this all started back in the 50s when there was this looming paranoia about the possibility of nuclear apocalypse I mean it was the beginning of the Cold War and the world was a much less fun place to live in their nuclear sirens going off everywhere there were even cartoons about being killed by nuclear bombs worse there weren't any fun video games to play the only computers were these huge mainframes that cost a million dollars and only existed at elite research facilities they were mostly used for crunching numbers for the US military like say I don't know calculating the trajectory of a ballistic missile so it's weird then that out of this dead serious environment video games were born tennis for two the very first American video game outside of oxo which doesn't really count because it's basically tic-tac-toe was developed on military equipment it was invented by William Higinbotham a prim and proper 48 year old physicist who had previously worked on the development of the atomic bomb and later became a leading non-proliferation advocate while assigned to Brookhaven National Laboratory a base the Pioneer nuclear weapons he noticed that visitors to lab often worked kind of bored so he had this great idea what if he repurposed a Donner model 30 analog computer to play a game the Donner was this hulking 28 pound metal box with a voltage meter out front instead of keys it worked by plugging in wires into different holes but sure enough it worked tennis for two was a hit on October 18 1958 hundreds of visitors lined up in front of the lab in Upton New York which at the time was filled with all these crazy machines like something you'd see in an HG Wells novel these visitors had one goal and one goal alone to hit a tiny blue ball back and forth across the screen of an oscilloscope the crazy thing is that Higginbotham used his experience as a researcher at the radiation lab at MIT to create tennis for two so what that means is that one of the earliest video games on record would not exist if the military hadn't been dumping so much money into weapons of mass destruction okay fast-forward to 1961 Patsy Cline's falled pieces is on the radio the pony is the hot new dance move and a group of students created a game called space walk perhaps unsurprising for a game about two spaceships shooting each other space war was developed at MIT s Lincoln lab which was another military R&D center which was chartered specifically to defend the nation from air attacks there these MIT students had access to the enormous pdp-1 a computer that was designed by two former students of the lab the first pdp-1 was sold to the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California which surprise surprise was a pioneer in the research of nuclear weapons fire but Space Warp was a huge hit as students quietly passed copies of the code to each other in the hallways the computer scientist Alan Kay told Rolling Stone in the early 70s space war blossoms spontaneously wherever there is a graphics display connected to a computer it's important to remember that the kinds of people who are making and then later playing games like space war were not future five-star generals they're basically hippies they're people like Nolan Bushnell whose first act after founding Atari was to create a space war knockoff called computer space I know very creative Atari was a place where in bushnell's own words pot smoke filled the air and hippies skated between arcade machines Bush don't want an Atari to be an extension of San Francisco's popular Haight Ashbury neighborhood that was just up the street so games owe a lot long-haired liberal minded people advancing new ideas on machines entirely funded by the US military next let's set the time machine for 1966 the year the first videogame console was developed it was originally a prototype called the brown box because it was a brown box it was invented by Ralph Baer a Jewish American immigrant who fled Germany with parents just before the Holocaust Behr found himself working at a company called Sanders associates and surprise surprise Sanders associates was a defense contractor who specialized in aircraft defense systems and was later acquired by Boeing when Baer wasn't creating tools to snoop on the Soviets or designing saturn v launch equipment for the space race he was using military funded technology to bring video games to the masses the brown box prototype eventually became a Magnavox Odyssey and video games became the flourishing industry that we know and love today as for the military well they changed courses they looked around and said hey maybe we can take advantage of all these amazing games that we've been inadvertently funding one of the earliest instances is the 1980 tank game battlezone the game was so realistic for the time that the army approached atari who made battlezone about creating a new version called the bradley trainer which would teach gunners how to blow up other tanks without the high cost of blowing up other tanks the action so really you just might forget it's a game battlezone some of the folks at Atari hated the idea of working on a game