Spacewar!      (DEC PDP-1)    1961


Emulation: Not fully emulated  (browser emulator)


First digital computer game (earlier  games used discrete analog hardware rather than a program for a digital computer), first 2 player game, first Shoot 'em up,  first emulated (badly) game, first electronic sports game, oldest existing game


Silent, monochrome game with color overlay

Gameplay video

DEC PDP-1 Computer
DEC PDP-1 Computer
DEC PDP-1 Computer

Magazine review -Creative Computing Video & Arcade Games (1983)

1) There is only one working PDP-1 known to exist, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View,California.

2) Game influenced by "Lensman" series by E.E. Smith, E.E. Smith's Skylark novels and Japanese sci-fi tokusatsu movies.

3) Spacewar was a fairly good overall diagnostic of the PDP-1 computer and Type 30 Precision CRT Display, so DEC apparently used it for factory testing and shipped PDP-1 computers to customers with the Spacewar program already loaded into the core memory.

4) A video game emulator is a type of emulator that allows a computing device, usually a personal computer, but also other video game consoles, computers and mobile devices running operating systems to emulate a video game console's hardware and behavior and play games for that platform. Emulators are most often used to play older video games on personal computers and video game consoles, but they are also used to play games translated into other languages or to modify (or hack) existing games. More often than not, emulators offer additional features above and beyond that of the original console, such as multi-controller compatibility (such as PSX controllers being used with N64 games and vice versa), timescale control, higher framerates, higher resolutions, unlocking of gameplay features, memory modifications (like GameShark), and one-click cheat codes. Emulators are also a useful tool in the development process of homebrew demos and the creation of new games for older or discontinued consoles.

5) Shoot 'em up is a subgenre of the shooter genre of video games. In a shoot 'em up, the player character engages in a lone assault, often in a spacecraft or aircraft, shooting large numbers of enemies while dodging their attacks. There is no consensus as to which design elements compose a shoot 'em up. Some restrict the definition to games featuring spacecraft and certain types of character movement; others allow a broader definition including characters on foot and a variety of perspectives. Shoot 'em ups call for fast reactions and for the player to memorize levels and enemy attack patterns. (For more watch Space Invaders 1978),

6) First electronic sports game - The earliest known video game competition took place on October 19, 1972 at Stanford University. Stanford students were invited to an "Intergalactic spacewar olympics" whose grand prize was a year's subscription for Rolling Stone, with Bruce Baumgart winning the five-man-free-for-all tournament and Tovar and Robert E. Maas winning the Team Competition.

7) Electronic sports - can be defined as a form of mind sports where the primary aspects of the sport are facilitated by video games; the input of players and teams as well as the output of the eSports system are mediated by human-computer interfaces. Most commonly eSports take the form of organized multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players. The most common video game genres associated with eSports are real-time strategy, fighting, first-person shooter (FPS), and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). Tournaments such as The International, the League of Legends World Championship, the World Championship Series, the Evolution Championship Series, and the Intel Extreme Masters, provide both live broadcasts of the competition, and prize money and salaries to competitors.

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