'videogames' Episodes

Learning Along the Oregon Trail

     9/20/2020

We've all played the Oregon Trail, but what do you know about it's origins? First developed as a mainframe program all the way back in 1971, the Oregon Trail was intended as an educational game first and foremost. In fact, it traces its linage to some of the first efforts to get computers into the classroom. Today we are following the trail back to it's source and seeing how the proper environment was built to create this classic game.

You can play the 1975 version here: https://archive.org/details/OregonTrailMainframe 

Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and stickers: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing


Vectrex, Playing With Vectors

     4/5/2020

The 1980s were a turbulent and fast-moving decade for the video game industry. There were huge success stories, rapid advancements in technology, and the North American Video Game Crash. Caught up in all of this was an ambitious machine called the Vectrex. In an era dominated by pixelated graphics the Vectrex brought higher resolution vector images and early 3D to market. But ultimately it would be swept away during the market's crash. Today we are taking a dive into the development of the Vectrex, what made it different, and how it survives into the modern day.

Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and stickers: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing


PLATO Part 2: An Online Revolution

     12/30/2019

In the conclusion to our discussion of PLATO we look at the final incarnation of the system: PLATO IV. How did an educational machine turn into one of the earliest online communities? What was it like to use PLATO at it's height? Along the way we will look at the software, hardware, and video games that made PLATO so special.

Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and stickers: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing

Important dates in this episode:

1964: Plasma Display Patented
1972: PLATO IV Launches at University of Illinois
1973: Empire, First MMO, Developed for PLATO IV


Space Travel!

     5/27/2019

In this mini-episode we talk about Space Travel, an obscure video game from 1969.


Electric Ping-Pong

     1/25/2021

Sometimes an idea is so good it keeps showing up. Electronic ping-pong games are one of those ideas. The game was independently invented at least twice, in 1958 and then in 1966. But, here's the thing, PONG didn't come around until the 70s. What were theses earlier tennis games? Did Atari steel the idea for their first hit? Today we go on an analog journey to find some answers.

Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing


(OldComputerPods) ©Sean Haas, 2020