Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pre-video games

When video games took off in the late 70's, it seemed like my destiny to work in the video game industry, which I eventually did.  I got hooked on video games about the same time I got hooked on chess.

Prior to the video games becoming popular, there were a number of mechanical games that simulated a video game feel.  I saw this periscope game in the late 60's and to my young child mind, it was a great deal of fun:

I saw a number of shooting games that were mechanical, and I remember a mechanical racing game that rear projected cars onto a screen.

A game arcade opened in Columbus Indiana around 1974.  Most of the games were pinball, but there were a number of mechanical games that were popular until videogames took off.   I remember playing a "flying game" which simply had a miniature airplane that flew in a circle and all you could do was control the height to avoid obstacles.

Almost all the early video games did not have a processor, but instead used dedicated logic chips.  The game "Breakout" was that way, but there were other more crude games based on dedicated logic.


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