The world's first video game, OXO, was invented in 1952. As the title suggests, it was simple tic-tac-toe, and you could only play it on the EDSAC computer at the University of Cambridge. (Watch it in action here.) The fun didn't really get started until the late 1960's, when Robert Baer, Bill Harrison and Bill Rusch developed a ping pong game you could play on your television. The above video shows Baer and Harrison playing the game on the "brown box" -- the prototype for the computer consoles that would make the 70s and 80s such wonderful, sedentary decades to be a child.
Baer insisted on detailed note-taking, with the happy result that you can now read all of his team's earliest notes and memos at the online archives of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Or you could just play Pong.
via Matthias Rascher
Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.