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bryant junior high school (former)

from oregon trail posted in video games by pete_nice

In the fall of 1971, three student teachers (Bill Heinemann, Paul Dillenberger and Don Rawitsch) were trying to figure out how to make the historical subject unit of “The Western Expansion of the Mid-19th Century" more interesting to students.

Rawitsch was already developing a board game, but they came up with the idea of making it into a video game. Computers were rare in those days, but the crew used a teletype computer in a former janitor's broom closet at Bryant Junior High School to crank out an early prototype of the video game in 2 weeks: Oregon Trail was born.

The success of the game grew rapidly, the ownership of the game and the company changed hands several times. Oregon Trail helped to begin an era of educational video games and still remains popular to this day.

Source: Mental Floss

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brookhaven national laboratory

from tennis for two posted in video games by pete_nice

Developed in 1958 by William Higginbotham to entertain bored visitors to the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Tennis for Two is considered one of the first video games ever created.

The game was constructed using an oscilloscope as a display and a Donner Model 30 analog computer as a processor. The players would use an aluminum analog joystick to volley a "tennis ball" back and forth in a profile view of a match (unlike Pong, which was viewed from above).

The game was used only twice (during the Brookhaven open houses), but hundreds of people gathered in line to experience the new form of interaction. Check out this fascinating video of the 1958 recreation.

Higenbotham now has a special collection named for him, the William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection, at Stony Brook University. Their mission is dedicated to "documenting the material culture of screen-based game media."

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atari headquarters (former)

from pong, atari, nintendo, steve jobs posted in video games by pete_nice

Atari, Inc. was an American video game and home computer company founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. They introduced several products to the North American market that cemented video games as part of popular culture. 2600 anyone? Bam!

Al Acorn worked here- the guy who invented Pong.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (before they started Apple Computer) worked here in 1974.

The company closed up shop and sold assets in 1984.

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next headquarters

from wolfenstein 3d, doom, steve jobs posted in video games by pete_nice

After Steve Jobs was unceremoniously booted from Apple Computer in 1985 (he actually resigned after being pressured out), he took a core group of employees and started NeXT, Inc.

NeXT had a variety of business models and products both hardware and software. Tim Berners-Lee used a NeXT Computer in 1991 to create the first web browser and web server; accordingly, NeXT was instrumental in the development of the World Wide Web.

In the early 1990s John Carmack used a NeXTcube to build two of his pioneering games, Wolfenstein 3D and Doom.

Oh yeah, and they pioneered object-oriented programming, graphical user interfaces, and web application servers which enabled dynamic page generation based on user interactions as opposed to static content.

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