Who’s the real father of video games?

Many people out there think that the Atari PONG was the first system and that NOLAN BUSHNELL is the father of video games, but they are WRONG!

Instead of doing the usual recap of history, I’m going to tell about the history of each person responsible for what we call “Video Games”.

Let’s start by –”THE CREATOR”<– of the “First Video Game” ever !!!

It all began in 1958, a person by the name of “Willy Higinbotham”, who was a physicist, made a WORKING model and not even with a single transistor, but with vacuum tubes! (of course, transistors did exist at that time, the transistor was created by William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain of Bell Labs in 1947).

His “Tennis” game type was exposed at the Brookhaven National Laboratory for almost TWO years, and his game was more sophisticated than the Atari PONG itself !! (yes that’s true! don’t believe me? Ask EGM magazine or the Brookhaven National Laboratory!)

Now, please remember that “Willy Higinbotham” is THE FATHER that created the first video game, I hope that many of you will correct any history about video games. Almost anybody doesn’t know about his work and he didn’t get any credit for inventing the TRULY first video game, but in my book, he is THE creator!

Here’s the story that Danny Monaghan sent me and I thought that it was special that I had to share it with all of you readers: I was delighted to see your tribute to Mr HIGINBOTHAM, the REAL inventor of Video Games! Believe it or not, I live on the same street where Mr Higinbotham lived (North Howell’s Pt. Rd., Bellport, New York) and I’m only 8 houses away! I’ve got to tell you when I was a little kid growing up he was the coolest guy on the block! He used to let all the kids in the neighbourhood play baseball in his huge backyard… and even when we hit a ball off the side of his house, or broke a window, he didn’t care!

It wasn’t until 10 years ago when I was a senior at Bellport High School that I found out Mr Higinbotham invented Pong at Brookhaven National Laboratory (just a few miles away), and I couldn’t believe it! I had grown up on the first video game systems of the ’70s, and by the time I was in High School was writing my own games for the Apple and Commodore 64. So it was a real shock when I found out that, all along, I had been living next to the almighty creator himself! Unfortunately, he passed away in ’95 and I never got a chance to thank him, but his son Willy Jr. moved into his house, so I’m thinking about stopping by someday. I don’t know if you know this, but he also worked on the first Atom bomb… a stark contrast to his harmless Pong! I just wish more historians would note his awesome achievement! [Thanks for the letter, Danny! If anybody has any insight stories related to the 4 creators of Pongs, please do !]

Now the SECOND most important person, his name is “Steve Russell”.

MIT student 1961, creates “Spacewar”(the second video game), is the first interactive computer game on a Digital PDP-1 computer.

The game is to control two tiny spaceships, one called the “WEDGE” and the other called the “NEEDLE” , the battles around a tiny dot in the middle of the screen that represents the Sun. The game featured an accurate portrait of physics in outer space. Another student even corrected the star fields in the background to the scale !!

But Russell made a mistake, he never filed for copyright. He thought that it cost too much to try to market his game, he was right about this. Only a few computers could run his game at this time, and at a cost of $120,000 for a PDP-1, it was too much to put in arcades. His game almost faded away forever if it wasn’t for the employees of Digital Equipment who used it to test their computers while installing them for customers. Customers received the game …

SEGA vs. MAPHIA, the first ROM distributing lawsuit

SEGA ENTERPRISES LTD. and SEGA OF AMERICA,

INC., Plaintiffs,

MAPHIA, a business of unknown structure; PARSAC, a business of unknown structure; PSYCHOSIS, a business of unknown structure; CHAD SCHERMAN aka CHAD SHERMAN aka “BRUJJO DIGITAL,” and DOES 2-6 aka “OPERATOR,” “FIREHEAD,” “LION,” “HARD CORE,” “CANDYMAN,”  all individually and d/b/a/ MAPHIA and PARSAC; HOWARD SILBERG by his mother and next friend Ilene Silberg, aka “CAFFEINE,” and DOES 14-18 aka “APACHE,” “MAELSTROM,” “GAZZER,” “PARANOID/CHRYSEIS,”  “DOOM” all individually and d/b/a/ PSYCHOSIS and PARSAC; DOES 7-12; DOES 19-25, Defendants.

No. C 93-4262 CW

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

857 F. Supp. 679 (1994); 30 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1921; Copy. L. Rep. (CCH) P27,309

March 28, 1994, Decided

March 28, 1994, Filed

JUDGES:   [**1]   WILKEN

OPINIONBY: CLAUDIA WILKEN

OPINION:   [*681]   FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, AND CONFIRMATION OF SEIZURE

This is an action for copyright infringement (under 15 U.S.C. @ 101 et seq.), federal trademark infringement (under 15 U.S.C @ 1051 et seq.), federal unfair competition/false designation of origin (under 15 U.S.C. @ 1125(a)), California trade name infringement (under California Business & Professions Code @ 14400 et seq.), and California unfair competition law (under California Business and Professions Code @ 14210, 17200-17203) against Defendant Chad Scherman and several other individuals operating on-line computer bulletin boards, and the MAPHIA and other bulletin boards as businesses of unknown origin. On December 9, 1993, the Court, the Honorable Fern M. Smith presiding, issued an ex parte Temporary Restraining Order, Seizure Order, and Order to Show Cause Re Why a Preliminary   [*682] Injunction Should Not Issue enjoining Defendants’ use of Plaintiffs’ SEGA trademark and the direct and/or contributory infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyrights. [**2]

A hearing was held before Judge Smith on December 17, 1993, on Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, pursuant to the order to show cause. At that hearing, Judge Smith continued the temporary restraining order in effect until further order of the Court. Thereafter, Defendant Paolo Rizzi, individually, filed a written stipulation to a preliminary injunction and confirmation of the seizure. Defendants Scherman and MAPHIA filed an opposition.

Following reassignment of this action to the undersigned, a further hearing was held on February 25, 1994. The Court now determines, having considered the pleadings, all papers filed by the parties, and the parties’ oral arguments, that a preliminary injunction should issue against Defendants Scherman and MAPHIA as ordered separately. Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 65(d), the Court makes the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in support of the preliminary injunction and confirmation of the seizure order:

FINDINGS OF FACT

I. FINDINGS SUPPORTING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

A. The parties and their activities

1. Plaintiff Sega Enterprises, Ltd. (“SEL”), is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Japan. Compl.   [**3]   P 1.

2. Plaintiff Sega of America, Inc. (“SOA”), is a California corporation with a principal place of business in this district in San Mateo, California. SOA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SEL. SOA and SEL are hereinafter sometimes collectively referred to as “Sega” or “Plaintiffs.” Compl. P 2.

3. Defendant MAPHIA is a business of unknown structure doing business and located in San Francisco, California, within this District, engaged in the business of running a computer bulletin board and related activities. Yang Decl. P 12.

4. Defendant Chad Scherman (aka Chad Sherman, aka “Brujjo Digital”) is an individual residing in this district in San Francisco, California. Chad Scherman is in possession and/or control of the MAPHIA Bulletin Board, which is run from his residence where the computer and memory comprising the bulletin board are located, and does business as MAPHIA or Maphia Trading Company on such bulletin board. He is also one of the “system operators” of the MAPHIA bulletin board. Keene Decl. PP 2, 11.

B. The Business of Plaintiffs

5. Sega is a major manufacturer and distributor of computer video game systems and computer video games which are sold under the SEGA trademark, [**4]  a registered trademark of Sega Enterprises, Ltd. (Federal Registration No. 1,566,116, issued November 14, 1989) owned by Sega. Yang Decl. P 3, Exh. A.

6. Sega’s computer video game programs are the subject of copyright under the laws …

Cloak & Dagger for ATARI 5200 – The real history behind this cartridge

You’re reading an article located at Kinox – The Emu Scene Dump, one of the most reliable sources for news about the scene (pay us a visit, you won’t regret!). This is a small article that explains the real story behind Cloak & Dagger for Atari 5200. All rights reserved to Alex Rosenberg, its author.

Many die-hard collectors and 5200 fans are aware that a Cloak and Dagger (and, for that matter, Tempest) cartridge as shown in the movie of the same name is sort of a tantalizing preview of the game. What nobody knew, however, was whether Cloak and Dagger existed as a prototype, or if the game code even existed in any form. Alex Rosenberg gave us the definitive answer after an “interview” with Dave Comstock, from ATARI

“Yes, I can answer your question about the Atari 5200 version of Cloak & Dagger.

When Warner Communications sold the consumer side of Atari to Jack Tramiel (who founded Commodore) in mid-1984, I was working on the Atari 400/800/1200 version of Cloak & Dagger. Since the Atari 5200 was basically just an Atari 400 with a different controller, when I completed the home computer version, I was supposed to modify the game to use the “360-degree” 5200 controllers (as opposed to the 9-position home computer joystick).

By the way here’s a little known fact about Cloak & Dagger: someone at Atari actually explored doing an Atari 2600 version of Cloak & Dagger, but very quickly decided that it couldn’t be done, even with major simplifications…

If you’ve ever seen the Cloak & Dagger movie, you’ll know that the cartridge shown in the movie was a 5200 cartridge. Actually, the 5200 cartridges didn’t even exist: it was a 5200 cartridge of another game with a “Cloak & Dagger” label slapped on it. Also, in the game store scenes, there were Atari 5200 Cloak & Dagger boxes shown. Those were also just mockups made for the movie.

But wait a second! Wasn’t the Atari 5200 Cloak & Dagger game actually PLAYED in the movie (and didn’t it look damn good)? Hollywood movie magic! They took the output of the coin-operated game, converted the signal, and piped it to a TV set. So if you thought it looked a lot like the coin-op game, you were right. Another interesting fact: Henry Thomas wasn’t really playing the game; instead, Atari sent down the game’s software developer, Rusty Dawe, to play the coin-op game for the movie! So they showed Henry Thomas furiously working the 5200 controllers, cut to the television showing Rusty’s progress in the game (sometimes even with Henry’s reflection on the screen), and back again. Rusty — er, make that Russell B. Dawe — got his own full- screen credit at the end of the movie for the game design.

Although the rest of the game shown in the movie was taken from the real coin-op game, the spectacular 3D “secret plans” finale of the game was pure Holywood animation: the real game ends somewhat anti-climactically with one of several static, crudely-drawn blueprints. I don’t recall whether Rusty ran short of ROM space or time, but the secret plans weren’t up to the quality of the rest of the game, much less the movie game’s ending.

Oh, and another piece of trivia: the original name of the Cloak & Dagger coin-operated game was actually…Agent X (hence the name of the protagonist in the game and the off-hand comment by Dabney Coleman in the movie that he “used to be known as Agent X”). The game had been under development at Atari as “Agent X” for quite a while, and was nearly completed. The movie studio (can’t remember which one off-hand, but I have the Laserdisc) had the movie under development as Cloak & Dagger. The game cartridge that was in the original screenplay was…Donkey Kong (at the time, the most popular home videogame)! Someone at either the movie studio or Atari found out about the other, “the secret agent recovers secret plans from bad guys” plots sounded like they were made for each other, the deal was signed, and the Agent X game was renamed Cloak & Dagger.

Anyway, back …

The Swapoo Story – Emulation gets a Napster!!!

Zophar’s Domain is now the proud host of Swapoo, formerly Romney.  Swapoo is a new piece of software, that got renamed quickly, that acts just like that now-infamous program named Napster and has gotten plenty of press already.  Its author is 17 years old, named Jeff Freeman, and from Zophar’s area in the United States (hint hint, it has a “P” and is on the east coast;-)).

Simply put, this program allows the user to download ROM images from other people’s computers once they connect to the Snapoo server – just like Napster.  So, basically, it is a modified Napster copy-cat program that collects ROMs.

Anyway, supporting programs like Swapoo could spell trouble for everyone involved in emulation.  Think about it, people downloading illegal ROM images off of each other’s computers in a type of “sharing” movement could spell the end of emulation with all the publicity, and who do we thank for all this you may ask? Zophar ;-), for publicizing it at Zophar’s Domain? The talented young author? Or just ourselves for proudly using it?

This program could spell doom for emulation and cause it to go further underground.  Downloading from images shouldn’t be something like Napster in today’s age of emulation – with Nintendo and IDSA bugging people all the time, it should stay as it is – a struggle to keep images alive and find interesting ways to distribute them, but not something like this – the attention is un-needed.

Anyway, you now know where it is located, who did it, and what it is.  The user now will determine its fate ;-), as the infamous Star Wars quote puts it “The force is with you”(I know it sounds stupid but it fits).…

How to Setup Dreamcast to use Win2k connection

You’re reading a tutorial located at Kinox – The Emu Scene Dump, one of the most reliable sources for news about the scene (pay us a visit, you won’t regret!). This is a graphic tutorial on configuring Windows 2000 so your Dreamcast can use the connection to play games. All rights reserved to mc Gonzalez, its author.

STEP 1:

The first thing you want to do is bring up routing and remote access, I do most things in Windows 2k from the computer management window. You need to make certain it is set for WAN and Lan routing, along with functioning as a remote access server. When you right-click on R&R and choose properties, the general tab should look as it does in this example.

STEP 2:

After that is set, for this to work it needs a static address pool. I was using DHCP relaying and using my Linksys Hardware firewall to control the dial access clients as well, but the routing did not work. So, I set the static pool, on the same requester’s IP tab, to a subset of the IPs that the Linksys furnishes, but high enough as to not interfere with the hardware clients.

STEP 3:

On the same dialogue again, now we need the security tab. I am not really concerned with accounting for this purpose, so I have that set to none. But the second pop up box there, if you push the Authentication methods button, you can select what type of login is to be used. You can have more than one. I chose Chap, as I knew since the Dreamcast was using Worldnet for its primary ISP, it had to be able to use this auth method.

STEP 4:

On to a different page finally. A Static route is needed. Just remember 0’s. Plus open IP routing, and highlight Static routes.

STEP 5:

make a new static route (right-click, all tasks) and set it thusly:

STEP 6:

Now at this point, I was able to log in with another PC, well I also had MSCHAP active in the methods, but not from the Dreamcast. There were a couple of things stopping me, any guesses what they were?

The first one was relatively easy to figure out, event viewer told me that there was no reversible encryption password stored for this account. I can fix that I said. So, to my user to edit it, note if you do not have an active directory installed, you can just use the local users and groups tool in computer management for this. It is simple, check the box on the account tab to store the password for the account in reversible encryption. Also, Make certain that the account is allowed to dial in on the dial-in tab.

STEP 7:

Ok, now I am all excited, this is going to work I said to myself. Of course, it didn’t. At this point, the pain killer I was imbibing for a toothache was starting to get to me. Readers who have worked with NT security will know, I am certain, what I have forgotten, but it puzzled me for a bit. The event viewer was no help. It told me chap failed before I stored the password in reversible encryption, but now it was telling me it was failing because it attempted to use an unauthorized authentication method.

Man, do I feel dumb…

STEP 8:

Back to Routing and remote access. Hmmm, I wonder what this policy action is all about… Get the properties, well this is no help:

STEP 9:

I wonder what is under the edit profile button

Bingo! The chap was not checked, as it is now.

It now functions properly. The Dreamcast can log into my server, and has full access to the Road Runner account. Granted, as we are dealing with V90 modems, the connection is V34, but for its intended purpose, the boy is quite happy with it. Who knows, I may take a turn or two surfing on the 32″ screen.…

How to connect your Dreamcast on your PC to use Linux PPP connection

You’re reading a tutorial located at Kinox – The Emu Scene Dump, one of the most reliable sources for news about the scene (pay us a visit, you won’t regret!). This is a tutorial on configuring Linux so your Dreamcast can use the connection to play games. All rights reserved to MichaelG, its author. The following information is provided as-is.  I take no responsibility for any damage you may cause to your PC or DREAMCAST console.  Also, please do not e-mail me with questions on how to set things up.  This page is provided for those who have a basic knowledge of Linux and its ability to do IP Forwarding and Masquerading.  It is ASSUMED that you are currently using Linux to connect multiple PCs to the Internet already. ALL INFORMATION BELOW IS BASED ON SLACKWARE with Linux Kernel 2.0.38, PPPD-2.3.10 and USR56K External Modem

Setting up a Linux PPP Server

After a week of playing around, I finally found the combination of what works and what is needed to properly set up Linux to act as a dial-up PPP server and allow my DREAMCAST console to access it.  What led me to actually work on this project was my desire to utilize my current method of Internet access (CableModem) because I just didn’t feel like tying up my phone line every time I wanted to use my DC on the Internet.  I know there are a lot of users out there who have high-speed internet access such as CableModem or DSL, and a lot of us would love to have a Broadband (Ethernet) Adapter for the DC.  This solution does not solve the high-speed access we want, but it does provide a solution to allowing us to utilize the cable modem/DSL access we already have.  This is even perfect for those of us who have multiple PCs accessing the Internet via Linux’s wonderful ability to do IP Forwarding/Masquerading.  If anyone else besides me finds this info useful, then my job was done.

PLEASE, before you do anything, READ THE ENTIRE DOCUMENT FIRST!!!

If you’re interested, my current setup looks like this:

The information I gathered came from a variety of sources.  I suggest you check out some of those web pages provided below.  They have proven invaluable to me in my quest.  Also, some of those pages will explain things in more detail than what I am willing to do here.

Perhaps the most comprehensive page on getting Linux set up as a PPP Server.
Gentry Information Distribution

A nice page on getting Linux set up to allow Winblows machines to dial into your Linux PPP Server.
Linux, mgetty & AutoPPP.

A nice page on getting Linux set up as a PPP Server for your own ISP service.
Start your own ISP

The above links have proven invaluable to me.  Please check them all out.  It will give you detailed information on setting Linux up as a PPP Server.  I will not provide information on how to set up Linux as a PPP Server, I will provide you with the addendums that need to be done to make your DC work with Linux.

Improving Performance

What led me to do this?? Well, I was tired of tying up my phone line every time I wanted to access the Internet with my DC.  I thought it was wasteful.  I figured, If I could use my Linux box as a PPP server, then I can take full advantage of the fact I can have unlimited time on the Internet with my DC without tying up that phone line.  Believe it or not folks, you can hook up two modems back-to-back by plugging in the phone line cord in both the phone jack ports on the modem (not the phone line).  By doing this, you can bypass the need for a Telephone company.  In addition, I wanted to take advantage of several features of Linux that would improve performance.

First, I use my Linux box as an HTTP Cache Proxy.  What this allows me to do is store some web page information on my Linux hard drive that would allow me to access that same information repeatedly without having to retrieve it …

Tetris, the puzzle of real life

You’re reading an article located at Kinox – The Emu Scene Dump, one of the most reliable sources for news about the scene (pay us a visit, you won’t regret!). This is an article that tries to explain the suicide of Vladimir Pokhilko, co-author of Tetris. All rights reserved to Kinox – The Emu Scene Dump 2000, except some material obtained on the Internet to compose this article.

While he wrestled with the financial difficulties of his San Francisco-based software company, Vladimir Pokhilko watched from the sidelines as business partners and friends readied the relaunch of Tetris, the world’s most popular video game. Apparently pushed to the edge, Pokhilko — president of AnimaTek, a San Francisco-based software design company — brutally murdered his 39-year-old wife, Elena Fedotova, and their 12-year-old son, Peter Pokhilko, before killing himself, police said. A business associate said that Pokhilko had been wrestling with company problems brought on, in part, by the current upheaval in Russia. Adding to those pressures, said Henk Rogers, who helped found Anima

Tek in 1988, was a push to get more financing to create software that would yield “Hollywood-type” computer effects. “We were in the middle of raising money,” said Rogers. “It was nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that we couldn’t see past the end of.” But sometime Monday night, in the family’s home on the 400 block of Ferne Avenue, police believe Pokhilko killed his family and then himself. Pokhilko hit Fedotova, a popular yoga instructor, and Peter, a seventh-grader, with a hammer, and repeatedly stabbed them with a hunting knife, apparently as they lay sleeping. Then, he stabbed himself once in the throat with the knife, police said. “It’s unfathomable that someone would do this to themselves and a child,” said Palo Alto police spokeswoman Tami Gage.

A close family friend called the police at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, after he arrived at the family home, having failed in repeated attempts to reach the family by phone. The pyjama-clad bodies of Fedotova and Peter were found in their beds by police. There was no sign of a struggle, indicating they may have been sleeping when they were attacked. Pokhilko’s body was found in Peter’s room, with the hunting knife in his hand, police said. Along with the knife, police recovered the hammer believed to have been used in the attacks, and they found a note. Investigators would not release its contents.

“It is not a suicide note,” Gage said. “We don’t even know who wrote the note or how significant it might be.”

Wednesday, the community still was reeling from the horrific incident.

Flags at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School, where Peter was a student, flew at half-staff. And during the day, about 40 of his classmates placed a makeshift memorial on a poster board in front of the family house. The poster board carried messages such as “In loving memory of Peter” and was covered with signatures of classmates and teachers.

Meanwhile, more was learned about Pokhilko, 43, whose firm, AnimaTek, emerged from a partnership formed in Moscow more than a decade ago with Rogers and Russian computer scientist Alexey Pajitnov, who invented the video game Tetris in 1985.

Pajitnov based Tetris, which entails lining up stacks of blocks as they drop to the bottom of a computer screen, on an ancient Roman puzzle called Pentomino. Pokhilko, a Russian clinical psychologist and a longtime friend of Pajitnov’s, had been experimenting with using puzzles as psychological tests when Pajitnov first showed him his invention, said Rogers.

Pokhilko immediately saw the mass appeal of the puzzle and convinced him it would make a great computer game. The two began collaborating to publish Tetris, but their plans were derailed by Soviet authorities, who in 1986 demanded that Pajitnov sign over all rights to the game. Later, Pokhilko and Pajitnov teamed to create digital diversions, including El-Fish, a virtual aquarium.

In a 1996 interview, Pajitnov said he had acquiesced to the Soviet demand to sign over the rights of Tetris because he feared reprisals. “I would have been in prison for sure had I gone directly to Nintendo,” Pajitnov said. “I would have had to be a dissident and possibly