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The journey of video games, from their inception to the present day, is a tale of innovation, creativity, and technological advancement. The debate surrounding the title of the "first video game ever" is one that has been ongoing for years, with various contenders vying for the top spot. However, two names stand out in this debate: Bertie the Brain and Tennis for Two.
Bertie the Brain: The Giant Tic-Tac-Toe MachineIn 1950, an inventor named Josef Kates constructed what some believe to be the first video game ever: Bertie the Brain. This colossal machine, standing at a staggering four meters tall, was designed to play the classic game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Displayed at the Canadian National Exhibition, Bertie the Brain drew crowds of curious visitors eager to challenge its artificial intelligence at varying levels of difficulty. This technological marvel, ahead of its time, was unfortunately disassembled after the exhibition, with many dismissing it as a mere "novelty."William Higinbotham: The Pioneer of Video GamesWhile Bertie the Brain was an impressive feat, it did not fit the strict definition of a video game. This brings us to another significant figure in the history of video games: William Higinbotham. A physicist with an already illustrious career, Higinbotham was part of the team that developed the first nuclear bomb. Later in life, he became one of the founding members of the "Federation of American Scientists," emphasizing the peaceful and constructive use of science.
In 1958, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Higinbotham introduced the world to Tennis for Two. This game, displayed on an oscilloscope, allowed players to simulate a tennis match using two knobs and a button. In essence, Tennis for Two was a precursor to the iconic game Pong, which would be developed 14 years later. The game was a massive hit at the Brookhaven National Laboratory's open house, with attendees lining up to experience this novel form of entertainment.
Higinbotham's creation was more than just a game; it was a statement. He wanted to demonstrate that science could be used for more than just warfare and destruction. Tennis for Two was a testament to the potential of technology to entertain and bring joy. Despite its success, much like Bertie the Brain, Tennis for Two was dismantled after its debut, its components repurposed for other projects.The Legacy ContinuesThe contributions of Josef Kates and William Higinbotham to the world of video games cannot be understated. While their creations may not have survived the test of time, their innovative spirit and vision laid the groundwork for the video game industry's exponential growth. From the rudimentary graphics of Tennis for Two to the immersive virtual worlds of today, the journey of video games is a testament to human ingenuity and the endless possibilities of technology.
Jake didn’t think he’d become a writer when he was growing up in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, but fate had another idea. After barely squeaking through grade 9 English, by the luck of the draw Jake found himself with the most inspiring literature instructor his small town had ever known, and grade 10 English changed his life! Suddenly, evenings once spent at the hockey rink were spent curled up on the couch with the best of Hemingway, Dickens, and John Grisham. A valedictorian address and English degree at the University of Regina later, Jake is proud to call Heywise his favorite place to pen informative quizzes about all his passion projects. If you’re reading a post and pick up a hint of classic English literature, you’re probably reading something by Jake - especially if you come away feeling like a slightly better person for it.
While most of us go about our daily routines with a few hours of Genshin Impact play here and there, other fans out there are playing out their wildest Genshin dreams. One fan created a hyper-realistic map of the four regions—Mondstadt, Liyue, Inasuma, and Sumeru. But get this; they’ve also proposed potential spots for regions that haven’t been revealed yet. Fans will know these regions as Natlan, Fontaine, and Snezhnaya. The fan posted the depiction on a Reddit thread, and it was well-received by other fans.
Fans are also responsible for some pretty great theories, even some that are worth looking into! One of the best is the Alchemist Theory, which explores the possibility that Rhinedottir will take down the beloved Albedo. This theory is actually possible, given how storylines can change. Believable as it is, it’s also a sad theory and one that true fans of the game don’t want to see play out. Let’s hope that the destruction of Albedo at the hand of Rhinedottr remains only a fan theory.
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