Stuart Brown, a.k.a. Ahoy is a British YouTuber from Manchester who makes insightful videos about videogames’ history. Recently, I came across “The first video game”, a video he produced 3 years ago as a means to answer what was the first video game to ever appear in history.
Now, this question had always seemed simple to answer in my understanding. After all, I believe I’m not the only one who knew the answer was, of course, Atari’s Pong, which came out in 1972, five years before I was even born. But Stuart’s video proved me (and everyone going by the same answer) wrong, and the culprit for everyone’s mistake seems to take root in the fact that Pong was the first game to break through into popular culture, and so, many magazines at the time cited it as “the first videogame“.
Stuart goes on to add that, in the 1970’s and 1980’s, there were no such things as Google or the internet, and a trip down to the library wouldn’t reveal much of anything regarding the history of videogames. So, people in general just accepted Pong as the first ever videogame to exist, and it was all right. But the video shows there are contenders to being the first video game dating back to 1953!
The thing is, I needed to share this video. It’s just a so-well documented story of videogames that I couldn’t miss the opportunity. For about 60 minutes, the duration of a documentary, which is undoubtedly another way to call this piece, we take a deep dive into history: the first-ever videogame candidate is revealed, but not only that. We also learn about computers, transistors, famous people like Nolan Bushnell and when did video games become video games, that is, who in the world first used the term and how it came to be. Not to mention the many references to articles, magazines and books.
That’s a complete meal if you, like me, are into videogames, history and lifelong learning.