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History lesson

Ever play the first video game?

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.

Zach, Heywise Staff

Quiz WriterZach, Heywise Staff

Zach has been riding the gondola of trivia wherever the waters take him. Although he’s not a named consultant on any major quiz TV shows, Zach has watched them all since infancy and will happily take up any challenge whether it be pub quizzes or high-stakes matches he isn’t afraid to show up. And showing up is 90% of the work!

Did you know?

Did You Know? Kayna Is The Only Base Monster In The Fire Class

Kayna, Noggin, Toe Jammer, and Potbelly are all base monsters, however, only Kayna has the fire class. Noggin, Toe Jammer, and Potbelly are all classed as natural along with Tweedle and Mammot.

Each base monster represents an element. Noggin is earth, Potbelly is plant, and Toe Jammer is water. Kayna has fire as both the element and class. This strange phenomenon where the monster has the same class and element only occurs three other times with the Dipsters, Celestials, and Legendary monsters.

Fire monsters could also have other elements such as plant, cold, air, water, and earth. Fire monsters are slow to appear and can take much longer to breed than their natural or magical counterparts. A normal Kanya, for instance, takes 7 hours to incubate!

A Kanya can level up to level 9 and is a single-element monster. The fire group also has double, triple, quad, and quint-element monsters. The more elements used, the longer the monsters take to incubate. Rare Tring and Rare Sneyser monsters are pretty valuable and are worth several hundred thousand in-game currency, or coins.

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