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In 1947 The First Patent Was Issued For The “Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device” – A Video Game

On September 12th, National Video Games Day celebrates all the ways we enjoy a good video game challenge.

Video game players across the United States enjoy this day with much enthusiasm. From their very earliest days, video games have been a blend of art form and industry.

  • On July 25, 1983, Walter Day and the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard out of Ottumwa, Iowa founded the United States National Video Game Team.
  • Their early games used interactive electronic devices with various display formats.
  • Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann filed the first patent for an interactive electronic device in 1947.  It was called the “Cathode ray tube amusement device.”
  • With a radar display technology, it consisted of an analog device that allowed a user to control a vector-drawn dot on the screen to simulate a missile being fired at targets.
  • The first game ever created is often thought to be Bertie the Brain, an artificial intelligence designed to play Tic-Tac-Toe. Considering that Bertie was a 4 meter (13 Ft) high machine built on vacuum tube technology, it was disassembled after the Canadian National Exhibition.
  • A year later, 1951, a computer was built called Nimrod.  Nimrod was a computer built and displayed at the Festival of Britain in 1951 and designed to play a game called Nim.
  • 0X0 – a tic-tac-toe computer game by Alexander S. Douglas for the EDSAC (1952)
  • Tennis For Two – An electronic interactive game engineered by William Higinbotham (1958)
  • Magnavox Odyssey launched the first home console in 1972.
  • Atari’s Pong followed with an arcade version in 1972 and a home version in 1975.
  • “The commercial success of Pong led numerous other companies to develop Pong clones and their own systems, spawning the video game industry.”
  • Pong became the first commercially sold coin-operated video game.
  • The voice actor who has played Master Chief in every Halo game to date is more famously known as Steve Downes, a radio DJ dating back to the late 1970s. Downes was most recently on Chicago’s WDRV “The Drive.”
  • Core Design animator Toby Gard wanted to make an interactive movie starring a male character looking for treasure in Egyptian pyramids. The character was deemed too close to Indiana Jones, and was quickly switched to a South American woman named Laura Cruz. Core ended up wanting a U.K. friendly name, so Core employees dove into a phone book and settled on the name “Croft.”
  • Barack Obama campaigned in 18 games.  During the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama purchased ad space in 18 games that ran in 10 states. The “Vote for Change” billboards were in Burnout Paradise, Skate, Madden, and more that targeted the demographic of ages 18 to 34.
  • In the Nintendo 64 game GoldenEye 007, Rare originally intended to include Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Sean Connery as playable characters in multiplayer. That plan was scrapped prior to release, but the character models for these famed actors were still on the cartridge. In 2005, a group called The Rare Witch Project cracked the game’s code and found them.
  • There are about 1,181,019 existing video games as of 2019.
  • As of 2020, there are more gamers than ever. An estimated 2.7 billion people played video games in 2020 alone.
  • E-sports is the professional competition for video games
  • 960 gaming consoles have been released since the first generation home video game consoles
  • In 1993, Tetris was brought aboard a Soyuz TM-17 rocket to the MIR Space Station, where the Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr A. Serebrov played it. The game cartridge was later sold at an auction for $1,220. Who knows what’s happened to it since, but you can grab the renewed version here.
  • Minecraft is the best-selling video game so far.
  • Antonio Monteiro of Texas holds the Guinness World Record for the largest video game collection at 20,139 video games. The collection features games from the 2nd to 8th generation consoles and over 100 devices to play them on. One of the most hardcore video game facts: It took Guinness 8 days to finish counting them all!
  • The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling gaming console of all time having sold 157.6 million units to date.
  • The longest video game session lasted 138 hours and 34 seconds.
  • People who play video games are more likely to be lucid dreamers than those who don’t.
  • Studies have shown that playing Tetris can curb sex, drug, and food cravings.
  • Pac-Man was supposed to be called “Puckman” for his resemblance to a hockey puck.
  • Gamers actually agree on the worst video game of all time.  It was so bad, the creators buried the evidence. Literally. The Atari ET video game is widely regarded as the worst video game ever created, and years after it was created, copies were found buried in the New Mexico desert.
  • Playing action video games trains people to make right decisions faster. How? Players develop a heightened sense of their surroundings and that helps them multitask. And surgeons that regularly play video games make 37% fewer errors and perform their tasks 27% faster than peers.
  • Madden NFL, as a franchise, is older than half the players currently playing in the NFL. “It’s in the game!” and on your system of choice—Madden NFL has appeared on 33 different video game platforms and consoles.
  • ‘Space Invaders’ Started The Famous Enemy-Waves Gaming Idea. The idea of some “more aliens getting killed, the faster they come out” started as a fluke and hardware malfunction while playing Space Invaders – although it is one of the bedrock of gaming today. Initially, the game’s hardware frees up whenever aliens get killed and that caused the game to run faster – it wasn’t the initial plan.


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