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'Pong' Turns 40, But It's Not the Oldest Video Game

By Mark Milian and Marcus Chan - 2012-11-16T01:14:36Z

Photograph by Computer History Museum

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"Spacewar!" (1962)

The mission: Take control of your spaceship and fire on the opposing player's craft. The action takes place in a digital space, which has an "astronomically correct star field as well as other characteristics that reflect real-world physics," according to the Computer History Museum. Steve Russell, a computer programmer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with Martin Graetz and Wayne Wiitanen, first conceived of the game in 1961.

Russell was a big influence on Nolan Bushnell, who is often described as the father of the video game industry. "I sort of stand on the shoulders of a guy named Steve Russell," Bushnell said in an interview with the Guardian in 2009.