Since the beginning of the 16th century the game "Nim"
is known in Europe. Two players alternate in their efforts to remove matchsticks
from a series of matches. The players decide how many matches they remove.
According to the agreement about the goal of the game each player tries
either to cause or to prevent the situation to hold the last matchstick.
When in the thirties Patrick Michael Grundy and Roland Parcifal Sprague
used Nim as a model case to investigate conditions of impartial games
then they discovered independently from each other the Sprague-Grundy-theorem
now fundamental to the mathematical game theory. 1 This
model status exposed Nim beside chess: Both games offered points of departure
for further far-reaching developments from which computer games emerged.
Since 1940 machine versions of Nim players were realised.
They are variants of early electronic games processing a classic games´
set of rules (see below). The goal of the Nim machines was a reconstruction
of the game logic. In the meantime, in 1948, inventors started with the
"Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device" (see below) 2
a development line constructing machines for the game action of hitting.
In 1940 Edward U. Condon, Willard A. Derr and Gereld
L. Tawney received the U.S. Patent 2,215,544 for a Nim machine being able
to play the two game strategies following the rules of either the "normal
case" or the "reversed case" against a human competitor.
In spring 1940 the machine called "Nimatron" was realised by
the firm Westinghouse for the New
York World´s Fair. "Nimatron" had a weight of more
than a ton "and [the circuit] ma[de] extensive use of relays".
Condon, Edward U./Derr, Willard A./Gereld L. Tawney:
Left: Realisation by the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company,
spring 1940, New York World´s Fair (source: The American Mathematical
Monthly. Vol 49. January 1942, p.42ss.) .
Right: Illustration of U.S.
In 1948 Raymond Redheffer presented a Nim machine
realised with "simple electrical circuits" weighing "about
five ponds". The machine can not only be used to play with four rows
of matchsticks but also for an arbitrary amount of them. According to
Redheffer a precursor of this machine was just planned in 1941-42 for
a realisation with relais. 4
Redheffer, Raymond: Nim, box realised in using blue
plexiglass, signed with "Raymond Redheffer MIT" (film by Mike Mozart,
including some not quite correct informations according to the current
level of knowledge).
A box made with blue plexiglass was found at antique markets being signed
with "Raymond Redheffer MIT" (Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge/Massachusetts). This box was named "Nim". This box
seems to be one of the realisations of Redheffer´s concept.
When in 1951 the "Exhibition
of Science" was a part of the "Festival of Britain"
in London, then one of the exhibits was a game computer constructed by
John Bennett and Raymond Stuart-Williams. The exhibition was installed
in a new wing of London´s Science Museum in South Kensington. The
Ferranti Nimrod was a digital computer consisting of 480 tubes to play
Nim with a human competitor. A table contained buttons and lights to control
computing processes. A demonstrator sat at this table turning his back
to the computer, meanwhile a visitor sat at the other side of the table
facing the front side of the Ferranti Nimrod. This front included three
slabs with control lights: A list with the steps of the computing process
(left), the score (center) and the computing processes for the rows of
game elements (right) were displayed. 5
Bennett, John/Stuart-Williams, Raymond: Ferranti Nimrod,
Left: Industrial Exhibition, fair grounds, Charlottenburg/Berlin, opening
day 6th October 1951, Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Ludwig Erhard
(left bottom, at the centre) plays against Nimrod and looses three times
(Borchers: Jahre 2001. Source of the images: Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum,
Right: Exhibition of Science, Science Museum, South Kensington/London,
Part of the Festival of Great Britain, London 1951.
Within the exhibition
parcours leading from physics, chemistry and biology to the outer
space the computer was placed in the center of the fifth and last room.
Jacob Bronowski wrote for the booklet of the exhibition:
You are plunged headlong through these five rooms into the structure of matter, and are now ready to see, in a more leisure way, how we come to know about it. 6
The Ferranti Nimrod acts in the last exhibition space
as an example for the "electronic brain". Beside the cosmic
space, stars and lightbeams "which reach us from outer space"
the "electronic brain" is mentioned as one of "a range
of subjects from the electronic brain to the processes and structures
on which life is based". 7
In a further booklet "NIMROD" the Ferranti Nimrod is compared
with the mainframe computer Ferranti
Mark I (1951, see chap. III.1) by the Manchester University. The booklet
points to Ferranti Nimrod´s computing capacity to solve "quite
complex problems" despite its "small memory" in comparison
to the mainframe computer. The digital Nim game is presented to demonstrate
the computing capacities of the Ferranti Mark 1.
In the booklet on "NIMROD" the term "electronic brain"
is explained as not useful because it provokes false expectations concerning
autonomous thinking capacities of machines:
[Automatic computers] do `think´ after a fashion but only in the manner that their designer and the person controlling the machine allow. 8
The Nim game presented a model of the mathematical
game theory (see above) and it was used as a test case for the capacities
of "automatic computers". 9
In the last space of the "Exhibition of Science" the imagination
of a scientific cosmos was provoked by exhibits exemplifying games, mathematics,
electronic calculation and cosmic space. As its contribution to the "Festival
of Britain" the "Science Museum" offered to its visitors
a parcours showing glimpses into the scientific cosmos. On its exhibition
fairground at London´s South Bank the festival offered a collection
of the best British achievements in industries, arts and sciences. Beside
this exhibition area further exhibitions in areas within and outside London
The festival of achievements did not seek direct comparisons for example
between Great Britain and the United States of America in cases like the
machine-made Nim competitors Ferrant Nimrod and the little box developed
at the MIT (see above).
In 1950 Claude Elwood Shannon presented guidelines
of a chess program for computers. He explored ways to analyze chess and
to use it as a precondition to develop a program. Because the possible
moves were too many for the contemporary computing capacities Shannon
proposed to reduce them so far that they still enable the program to unfold
"a skillful game, perhaps comparable to that of a good human player."
10 Shannon explained the problems to be solved in programming:
Our problem is to represent chess as numbers and operations on numbers, and to reduce the strategy decided upon to a sequence of computer orders. 11
In 1951 Dietrich G. Prinz developed a chess program
for the Manchester
Mark I (since 1949) analysing all possible moves. Because of the computer´s
limited memory capacity the program could not solve more than some of
the problems a player has to solve if a checkmate is possible in two moves.
The computing with the program needed more time to find a solution than
a human player. 12
In 30th July 1951 a program for a checkers game,
developed by Christopher Strachey, was installed on the Pilot
ACE of the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington/Middlesex (1950-55,
see chap. III.1.2). But the memory capacity of this mainframe computer
was too small. In consequence, Strachey rewrote his program of a checkers
game in October 1951 using the machinic game of the Manchester Mark I,
the precursor of the Ferranti Mark I. 13
The programs and machines presented above are a part of the video and
computer games´ prehistories. The presented games take up characteristics
of elder games like the logics of rules structuring the progression of
plays. Apparently in the English context of the Manchester University
and Ferranti Ltd. as well as in the U.S.A. at the MIT (Redheffer´s
employer) and at the Bell Telephone Laboratories (Shannon´s employer)
scientists treated problems of programs for games as if they were solvable
Shannon wrote about the significance of chess programming:
Although perhaps of no practical importance, the question is of theoretical interest, and it is hoped that a satisfactory solution of this problem will act as a wedge in attacking other problems of similar nature and of greater significance.
Games offer developers test cases to be used in the creation of "modern
general purpose computer[s]". So for Shannon chess was sufficiently
complex and in its structure with goal-oriented steps it was particularly
suitable for the exploration of the "digital nature of modern computers".
In 1948 Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr., Cedar Grove and
Estle Ray Mann received the U.S. Patent #2,455,992 for their invention
of a "Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device". This never realised
device was designed to change the course of a point on a cathode ray tube
via knobs. The moving point should constitute a curved line and the knobs
should serve to navigate the point to a target. The target should be marked
by an overlay on the tube: For a player the moving point should be a bullet
hitting or missing a plane. The "Amusement Device" was already
a concept for a shooting game. 15
Goldsmith Jr., Thomas T./Grove,Cedar/Mann, Estle Ray:
Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device. U.S.
Patent #2,455,992. 1948, Sheets 1 and 2, fig.1 - 4.
At the University of Cambridge (Cambridge/Cambridgeshire,
England) Alexander S. Douglas wrote a doctoral thesis on the human-machine
interaction. In 1952, as a demonstration of his thesis, he developed a
program to play "Tic Tac Toe" on the mainframe computer EDSAC
(Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator, Mathematical Laboratory,
University of Cambridge, since 6th Mai 1949). EDSAC´s three cathode
ray tubes (with 35 x 16 pixels) presented the game with its basic division
in nine fields. With a telephone dial the fields could be marked with
"X" or "O" on a rotational basis by the player or
the computer. When a player or the computer succeeded to set his or its
mark in three fields beside each other in a horizontal, vertical
or diagonal order then the winner of the game was found. 16
Douglas, Alexander S.: Tic Tac Toe, 1949, game for
the mainframe computer EDSAC (illustration: Tic Tac Toe in the EDSAC Emulator).
Contrary to the patent by Goldsmith, Grove und Ray (see above) Douglas´
game is not an electronic game with new rules. Nevertheless the development
of computer games containing the monitor presentations as an important
part of the interface (as the access of the player to the game system)
started in 1949 with Douglas´ version of "Tic Tac Tow".
After the rules and moves of classical games have been programmed the
next important step in the evolution of computer games was to develop
games for monitor presentations.
The nuclear physicist William
Alfred Higinbotham was the director of the Instrumentation Division at
the Brookhaven National Laboratory in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE,
Upton auf Long Island). For the visitors´ day at 18th October 1958
Higinbotham invented an exhibit provoking visitors to interactions. With
his object he reacted to the lack of interest "in static exhibits"
as visitors demonstrated it in earlier public presentations. 17
Higinbotham, William: Tennis for Two, 1958, Systron
Donner Analog Computer, Germanium transistors, oscillograph (diameter:
5 inches), 2 boxes with turning knobs and press keys. Exhibited at the
visitor´s day of the Instrumentation Division at the Brookhaven
National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Upton/Long Island ("Tennis
for Two" is presented enlarged in the wider circle. Image source:
Brookhaven National Laboratory).
When reading the instruction book of a Systron
Donner Model 30 analog computer (1954-60) Higinbotham found a description
"how to generate various curves on a cathode-ray tube of an oscilloscope,
using resistors, capacitors and relays. Among the examples...were the
trajectories of a bullet, missile and bouncing ball all of which were
subject to gravity and wind resistance." Higinbotham reminded the
instruction book´s game ball of a tennis game. In constructing "Tennis
for Two" he combined the little analog valve computer with an
oscillograph (with a diameter of 5 inches) and two portable boxes, each
of them with a turning knob and a press key.
Higinbotham, William: Tennis for Two, 1958, Systron
Donner Analog Computer, Germanium transistors, oscillograph (diameter:
5 inches), 2 boxes with turning knobs and press keys. Exhibited at the
visitor´s day of the Instrumentation Division at the Brookhaven
National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Upton/Long Island (Peter
Takacs explains a version of "Tennis for Two", reconstructed
The oscillograph showed the vertical plan of a tennis court: A long
horizontal floor line was interrupted in its middle by a short vertical
line representing the tennis net. The players could influence the curve
of a point in using the turning knobs on the boxes. The press key caused
the racket to push the ball. The racket was reduced to a movable short
vertical line. The rackets appeared on both sides of the tennis court´s
vertical plan. Higinbotham and Robert V. Dvorak, the executing "technical
specialist", accelerated the moving parts with Germanium transistors.
They were available only since recently:
At that display rate, the eye sees the ball, the net, and the
court as one image, rather than as three separate images. 18
For "Tennis for Two" non-sporty games were selected no longer
as a base, as it was the case in the development of former computer games´
programs (see the examples above), rather the idea of a point moving on
a cathode ray tube as it was anticipated in the patent by Goldsmith,
Grove and Ray was taken over for a reduced representation of a
game play borrowed from sport. "Tennis for Two" was not yet
able to record, store and indicate the score.
In 1961 J. Martin Graetz, Stephen R. Russell and
Wayne Wytanen were employed in the Littauer Statistical Laboratory of
the Harvard University (Cambridge/Massachusetts). According to Graetz´s
report from the summer of 1961 he became acquainted with the transistor-equipped
mainframe computer TX-0
(1955/56, developed at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory) at the MIT (Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Cambridge/Massachusetts) Electrical Engineering
Department. Graetz got to know demonstrations realised for the TX-0 and
its interface with a mouse, a console and a lighting pen. 19
These demonstrations inspired the development of a computer game´s
programme for the minicomputer DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) PDP-1
(since 1960) and its vector screen. In a room the PDP-1 was placed next
to the TX-0. Alan Kotok, member of the TX-0 research group, as well as
Dan Edwards and Peter Sampson, co-workers at the artificial intelligence
research team, contributed to the development of "Spacewar!".
Edwards, Dan/Graetz, Martin J./Kotok, Alan/Russell,
Stephen R./Sampson, Peter/Wytanen, Wayne: Spacewar!, 1962, computer game
for the minicomputer PDP-1, screen with two spaceships.
In February 1962 the first version
of "Spacewar!" was installed on the PDP-1. It consisted of two
spaceships. Their forms presented on screens of cathode ray tubes are
described by Graetz as "needle and wedge space ship outlines".
The players used a knob on their "control boxes" to direct the
rotation of the ships. 20 Beside the turning knob for
the spaceship the box had a further turning knob with a double function:
In moving the knob back the rocket was accelerated, meanwhile in pulling
the knob forward the hyperspace function was started. Players could activate
this function if they didn´t recognize another way to escape in
fields anywhere between adversaries and the gravitational centre. The
function could be used three times. After the escape the spaceship returned
to arbitrary places on the playing field in the worst case to the
later developed gravitational centre (see below). The push button of the
"control box" made it possible to start a torpedo consisting
of small square points of light. This "torpedo" could be used
to kill the adversary.
Edwards, Dan/Graetz, Martin J./Kotok, Alan/Russell,
Stephen R./Sampson, Peter/Wytanen, Wayne: Spacewar!, 1962, computer game
for the minicomputer PDP-1, console.
For a more interesting gameplay a gravity field was developed for the
centre of the monitor and located in the area surrounding a star with
flashing beams: Not moving spaceships were drawn into this centre of gravity.
The spaceships had to be moved to evade the projectiles
of a competitor (who behaves like an enemy in the case of "Spacewar!")
and not to be drawn into the centre of gravity. To reduce the necessary
computing capacity the projectiles are not subjected to the forces of
gravity. The authors tried to explain this absence of gravity with the
makeshift explanation to connote projectiles as "photon bombs."
The statistics of points made it possible to limit the duration of a
game to the time span necessary to reach a determined number of points.
At the end of April 1962 the second version of "Spacewar!"
was installed. In May 1962 it was presented to the public at the day of
the "Science Open House".
The Digital Equipment Corporation delivered the PDP-1
with "Spacewar!" as a program to be used to test the performance
of the processor and the screen. 22
With "Spacewar!" the development of the
computer games converged with the contemporary technology of minicomputers:
The pioneer of minicomputers was the DEC PDP-1 being delivered since 1960.
"Spacewar!" is the first shooter game for a monitor display,
and its interface prefigures joysticks.
In the seventies the commercially successful successors of the shooter
game consisted of simplified game systems (see chap. VII.1.2). The distribution
of "Spacewar´s" game system as open source code points
to another cultural context as the one of the entertainment industry determining
the development of the video games (see chap. VII.1.2). 23
VII.1.2 Arcade Games and Consoles
In the fifties and sixties games
for mainframes and minicomputers were only able at public demonstrations
to reach an audience larger than the circles of academic experts trained
in the use of computers (see chap. VII.1.1). In the seventies the "arcade
games" became electronic games in coin-operated machines accessable
for a wider public in amusement halls 24, meanwhile
the consoles for televisions transformed the living rooms (since
the sixties) the usual site for television into a place for gaming.
The first arcade game "Computer
Space" was sold since 1971. Nolan Bushnell developed it for Nutting
Associates. Ralph Baer constructed
as a console connected with television. Magnavox distributed "Odyssey"
since January 1972. "Spacewar!" (see chap. VII.1.1) was transformed
in "Computer Space" into a game machine with a TV monitor in
a futuristic designed fibreglass housing and an protruding keyboard, meanwhile
the tennis game of the "Odyssey" console changed Higinbotham´s
"Tennis for Two" (see chap. VII.1.1) into a `living room game´.
Bushnell, Nolan: Computer Space, Nutting Associates,
1971, arcade game.
Left: the case. Right: the screen.
Baer transformed Higinbotham´s sideview of a tennis game into a
top view. A small square represented the ball. It was moved between two
big squares symbolising the rackets. A transparent foil contained a vertical
line representing the tennis net.
The "Odyssey Home Entertainment System" included a control
unit and two boxes with knobs used in the tennis game for moves with the
rackets. The black/white graphics could not present other elements than
points and lines. It was not yet possible to store and indicate stores.
Baer, Ralph: Tennis, one of the twelve games included
in the Odyssey Home Entertainment System, Magnavox, 1972. Players with
the console being connected to the TV.
Six movement patterns and twelve screen foils were
the elements of twelve games, among them the tennis game described above.
The movement patterns were installed in selecting one of six plugs interconnecting
Baer, Ralph: Odyssey Home Entertainment System, Magnavox,
1972, console for twelve games, presentation in a TV Commercial, Carol
Burnett Show, 10th February 1973.
The sales of "Computer Space" and "Odyssey" fell
short of their producers´ expectations: The technology of the arcade
games and consoles became successful with later developed products mainly
consisting of simplifications.
Nishikado, Tomohiro: Space Invaders, Taito, 1979, arcade
of "Spacewar´s" gravity in the arcade game "Computer
Space" and its thick user´s manual were reduced in "Space
Invaders" (1978, Taito/Midway) 28 and "Asteroids"
(1979, Atari) 29 to simple shooter games with one "source
of risk". 30
After the "Odyssey Home Entertainment System"
for several games a market arose for game consoles with hard-wired components
for only one game. Since 1976 multifunctional consoles were available.
They were made with chip technology for games on "cartridges":
If a cartridge were inserted into the console than another game could
be started. 31
Among the arcade games "Pong"
(1972, Atari) became the most widely played tennis game. Like "Odyssey"
it was a successor of "Tennis for Two", but it included a score.
"Pong" belongs to the first successful games of Nolan Bushnell´s
Alcorn, Allan: Pong, Atari, 1972, arcade game.
The Atari engineer Allan Alcorn divided the vertical
lines representing tennis rackets in eight sections. If the square used
as a ball hit the midst of the racket line then the square was bounced
off at a right angle to the racket but diagonally (at a 45 degree angle)
in all other sections. After longer playing times the ball moved faster.
after the first delivery of "Pong" Atari was faced with the
first imitators. 33 With "Home
Pong", made available on the toy market since Christmas 1975,
Atari started its engagement as a producer of consoles. 34
Since 1977 Atari´s multi-game console VCS/2600 (VCS = Video-Computer
System) was sold successfully. 35
Alcorn, Allan/Brown, Bob/Lee, Harold: Home Pong, Atari,
1975, game console.
In Christmas 1977 the video game market suffered
a crisis because too few interesting games were offered for the deliverable
consoles. Atari survived the crisis without the financial problems of
other game producers. With new games Atari initiated between 1979 and
1982 the reinvigoration of the games industries. In these times Japanese
producers like Taibo, Namco and Nintendo rushed to the market hitherto
dominated by American firms. 36
After its original delivery in
1982 the personal computer Commodore
64 (1982-94) became famous as a game platform. In this function it
overcame its rivals produced by Apple and Atari. 37
Because of stronger computing capacities initially the consoles were more
appropriate for games affording fast player movements but this advantage
vanishes with further developed technology of personal computers. After
the game industry´s second crisis from 1983 to 1985 personal computers
and consoles were competing platforms for games. 38
VII.1.3 First Person Shooter & Third Person View
VII.1.3.1 Ego Shooter
In the eighties and nineties the
shooting games were developed further offering to the player a simulation
of a weapon in the lower field of the screen. After having recognised
ennemies the player shoots with his weapon on his run through three-dimensional
animations simulating sequences of spaces (First Person Shooter or Ego
Shooter). In the game genre "Management Simulation" not the
affordance to shoot constitutes the primary goal of players but the selection
of elements and properties constituting a game world with affordances
to make further decisions (Third Person overview of God Games, see chap.
In 1973 Steve Colley was confronted with the task to develop a program
for simple 3D animations, among them line displays of labyrinths, and
to implement it on the minicomputer Imlac
PDS-1 (since 1970, with a vector graphics coprocessor) of the NASA/Ames
Research Center (Computation Division, Moffet Field/Kalifornien).
A result of the communications between Colley, Howard Palmer and Greg
Thompson was the plan, to program a labyrinth for humans moving in it.
Considering the limited computing capacity Palmer proposed a labyrinth
allowing only movements in a 90 degree angle. For this kind of navigation
Colley programmed a labyrinth.
Colley, Steve/Palmer, Howard/Thompson, Greg: Maze War,
1973-74, game for the minicomputer Imlac PDS-1.
Left: printout of a screenshot (from an implementation on the personal
computer Xerox Star 8010), 1985-86.
Right: child playing Maze War on an Imlac PDS-1, 30th
Maze War Anniversary Event, DigiBarn Computer Museum, Mountain View/California
6th-7th November 2004.
The moves of two players in the labyrinth were recorded
in "using the serial ports" (Colley) of two Imlac PDS-1 computers
connected by a local area network. In "Maze
War" the players´ moves were presented on monitors. 39
They could see their position in a 3D animation presenting the edges of
the walls as lines and on a floor plan of the labyrinth. The floor plan
showed only the position of the player without the competitor, meanwhile
the 3D animation presented the game state. In this view the competitor
was presented as a ball with an eye. The position of the eyeball indicated
which player hit the other one.
Players navigated through the labyrinth in using five keys of the keyboard:
four keys for the navigation in four directions and one key for shooting.
When a player entered new rooms then he could look around for a short
time before he had to shoot.
This version was realised from 1973 to 1974 and in
1974 expanded by Greg Thompson to include a system for many players: When
Imlac computers were connected via the ARPANET (see chap. VI.1) with a
server (DEC PDP-10,
1964-83) then eight players could compete with each other in "Maze
Although "Maze War" as well as "Spasim"
(1974) are said to be the origins of the game genre ego shooter, both
3D games did not yet include a simulation of the player´s weapon.
"Spasim" was a space game representing starships and four planetary
systems only as wireframe models meanwhile "Maze War" already
eliminated the hidden lines. From January to March 1974 James Allen Bowery
programmed "Spasim" for the PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated
Teaching Operations) system. Since 1960 the PLATO system was developed
and evolved by the Control Data Corporation for e-learning.
Bowery, James Allan: Spasim, 1973-74, multiplayer online
game for the PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations)
Up to 32 participants could play "Spasim".
In PLATO IV terminals with monochrome plasm screens were connected to
the mainframe computer CDC Cyber 6400 of the Computer Based Education
Research Laboratory (CERL, Urbana/Illinois), like the earlier 2D game
being programmed by John Daleske for 8 players in April/May 1973. Since
July 1973 players of "Spasim" could change their point of view
in using the keys QWEADZXC for 8 directions. Also players could use the
"+" and "-" keys for acceleration and speed reduction.
In the game world players are represented as starships. In each planetary
system eight team players could shoot with "phasers-and-photon-torpedos".
Also the simulation in Attari´s arcade game "Battlezone"
(November 1980) consisted of wire frame models. A player had to fire on
a tank. This task had to be fulfilled successfully before the tank changes
his tour between both sides of the screen, turns his front in the player´s
direction and fires on him. The ennemy´s weapons included slow standard
tanks as well as faster tanks and anti-tank missiles.
The player targeted with a linear representation of a gun sight indicating
the periscope of a tank. Players could only fire straight ahead. Because
no other function than shooting was offered for the game play "Battlezone´s"
action functions are reduced compared to "Spasim".
The vector graphics presenting wireframes (based on polygon elements)
become brighter from back to front. The animation is supported by green
and black overlay transparencies. The representation of a periscope´s
cross-hair was supplied by a transparency on the black-white monitor.
The transparency simplified the cognition if and when ennemy objects appeared
in the target area. With the representation of the cross-hair as a part
of the player´s weapon "Battlezone" got an important element
of future ego shooters that was not yet included in the 3D animations
of "Maze War" and "Spasim".
Players navigated with two joysticks comparable to
a tank driver´s control sticks. A radar screen shown at the center
of the top presents targets as points. Already "Maze War" combined
a perspective view with a top view of the game space (see above). This
combination will be repeated in "Doom" (1993, id Software, see
In the ego shooters for home computers "The
Eidolon" (1985, Lucasfilm) and "MIDI
Maze" (1987, Hybrid Arts) the wireframe models were substituted:
in the first named game by fractals and in the second game by coloured
Kellner, Charlie/Seleme, Lance: The Eidolon, Lucasfilm
Games/Epyx, 1985, computer game.
In "Eidolon" the player navigates in caves
suggested by dotted lines and shoots on helicopters, fireballs, dragons
and other monsters, meanwhile an instrument panel at the bottom of the
screen indicates the score.
In "MIDI Maze" (1987) the players´ computers (Atari
ST, 1985-93) are connected with each other via a MIDI (Musical Instrument
Digital Interface) network. In a labyrinth the players navigate in four
directions and they target at competitors represented as smileys (yellow
icons presented as faces). The weapon is presented only as a red target
rectangle. The players try to direct this red rectangle onto the smileys.
In "Wolfenstein 3D" (1992, id Software, computer game) the
maze-like sequences of rooms limited by vertical planes representing walls
were taken up from "Maze War" and "MIDI Maze" and
constitute the game space for a player´s run through a sequence
of rooms in fighting against ennemies. The player acts in the role of
the fictive American soldier William "B.J." Blazkowicz being
imprisoned in the NS-Ordensburg Wolfenstein. His fighting path out of
the Ordensburg is limited by vertical planes simulating stone masonry
and decorated with Nazi emblems as well as Hitler portraits. In these
rooms he is confronted with German soldiers, SS men and shepherd dogs.
They are the ennemies to fight against in actions of shooting (In 1994
the game was confiscated in Germany because of infringements against the
penal code´s §
86a Section 1 Nr. 4 prohibiting the use of forbidden organisations´
In Wolfenstein 3D, as before in "MIDI Maze", the rooms are
simulated without ceilings: Both games contain animations of maze-like
sequences of spaces limited at the sides and in the depths by walls of
the same height. In "Wolfenstein 3D" the weapon protrudes in
these rooms. Because of the lamps with green shades the monochrome dark
grey horizontal upper areas become readable as ceilings. The floor appears
monochrome grey, too. But the floor is more light-coloured than the ceiling.
The 3D animation in "Wolfenstein
3D" is based on polygons. This animation was realised in using "Raycasting".
"Raycasting" algorithms are developed to remove the surfaces
of simulated objects being hidden from the player´s perspective.
With this "rendering technique" a "pseudo-3D" imagery
is calculated with data from two-dimensional maps. The walls of the ground
plan are scanned with light rays from one point of view in one image line.
These rays became the basics for the calculation of occlusion. Because
of the specified geometric rules the ground and the walls have always
the same height. No other walls than the ones with right angles are represented.
In using these rules John Carmack realised in "Wolfenstein 3D"
an early example for "Raycasting". 44 The
walls got their textures with "sprites" being set by a graphic
processor in the programmed image position. 45 In 1992
the increased capacities of computers with processors being cheaper than
ever before paved the way for the programming of "Wolfenstein 3D´s"
id Software (Romero, John/Carmack, John/Hall, Tom):
Doom, Cdv Software Entertainment, Pearl Agency, 1993, computer game.
In 1993 the design team of id Software (John Romero,
John Carmack, Tom Hall) presented "Doom"
(computer game), and with its graphic engine they set a new standard for
3D graphics. Like its predecessor "Wolfenstein 3D" the engine
of "Doom" was based on "Raycasting": In "Doom"
floors are not more than horizontal planes and the walls are only vertical.
Now the walls of "Doom" have different heights and touch each
other at whatever angle. The planes and ceilings of the combat rooms are
created with textures. Ennemies, weapons and other objects were integrated
as two-dimensional sprites into the virtual environments. 46
Meanwhile in "Wolfenstein 3D" the possible moves were restricted
to two axes, they where enlarged in "Doom" to three axes. Sometimes
a well visible hand lifts the weapon high into the image field.
The representations of labyrinths from "MIDI Maze" to "Wolfenstein
3D" is superseded in "Doom" by corridors widened to rooms
with forking corridors. Several times the game architecture includes prospects
The player can find weapons during his passage through
the sequence of rooms, and he can take them up in passing the find sites.
These weapons can be hidden in parts of the game architecture making it
difficult to find them. In searching such sites the player can switch
into the map view: The indicated past paths of the player can serve him
to find out unresearched places. 47 To proceed his path
in running and fighting the player has to solve riddles, too.
"Doom" included four episodes, each of
them contained nine levels. Each level offered to players rooms with ennemies
and obstacles for running and fighting. "Doom" is an early example
for the classical structure of ego shooters consisting of an environment´s
exploration, fighting and task solving. 48
The narrative framework to these paths for running
fighters came from a science fiction stored in the "Doom Bible"
by Tom Hall until Cormack decided to give it up. Cormack explains the
status this story can have for players:
Doom didn´t need a back story. It was a game about fight
or flight. 49
The speed necessary to react in "Doom"
to shooting ennemies causes players to run on each level as fast as possible.
In "Speed Runnings" veterans of "Doom" reduced the
time necessary for all levels to the record of five
minutes. The courses of matches could be stored on a demo file. Players
could distribute these files on the internet and communicate about their
If the perspective of a game´s figure is identical
with the view of a player on the screen then it is comparable to the "subjective
shot" (also "point of view shot" or "POV shot")
in films, as Britta Neitzel and Alex Galloway have shown in their game
Montgomery, Robert: Lady in the Lake, 1947, movie (extract).
In 1947 Robert Montgomery made the movie "Lady
in the Lake" based on an adaptation of Raymond Chandler´s
novel of the same name. In this film viewers follow the action in detective
Philip Marlowe´s perspective: If persons turn their bodies in speech
acts to Marlowe then they speak to the camera. Film presentations in cinemas
provoke the impression of actors turning their bodies to the projection
space and speaking to the movie goers. The observer gets involved in the
story by the scenic constellation (immersion) and is pointed to the border
between the filmed space and the projection space, because he can´t
control the filmed actions nevertheless he locates himself like Marlowe
in the filmed space. Marlowe remains another mostly invisible body who
sees and calls implicitly the viewers to follow his perception: The camera
and the viewers share Marlowe´s point of view, and the camera immerses
the viewers of its images into Marlowe´s scenic context. The viewers
are confronted with performative elements of Marlowe´s role play
(his speech) as well as with absent elements (his performance in situations
when the camera does not present him as a part of a mirror´s reflections).
In the first person shooters
the game affordances at the technical interface (interface 2, here consisting
of keyboard, mouse, joystick and monitor) result in the observer´s
self-localisation as an actor within the 3D game space: The actor in a
real space (the cognitive access to the world including the coordination
of the body, world-interface/interface 1, cf. chap. V.2, VII.2.2, VIII.2)
locates himself at the technical interface under game conditions. 52
The imagination of observers doesn´t transform the real space into
an expansion of the game space but players act on technical interfaces
in real spaces and in their navigation they transpose themselves into
the game space with its simulations of corridors and rooms narrowing down
the possibilities to fight against moving programmed ennemies. The "incorporeal
vision" 53 in Montgomery´s movie is changed
into observation processes integrating the `pre-reflective body coordination´
(see chap. V.2, VII.2.2, VIII.2) of the hands on the technical interface
into an immersive game play. The player´s immersion is not only
a blending out of his surroundings and a plunging into the game world,
as if he acts in it, but also a mediation between the technical interface
and the cognitive interface (game-interface/interface 3; cf. chap. V.2,
VII.2.2, VIII.2): This mediation like a switch from the real space
into the game world enables players to fulfill game affordances
with successful moves.
The cognitive interface (interface 1/world-interface as the access to
the world, coordinating mind and body) can be adjusted to game affordances
in processes of refinements of former refinements of the reactions trained
at the technical interface. With their trials to coordinate the cognitive
and technical interfaces players start a training developing strategies
for game affordances. The world-interface for the self-positioning in
an environment (interface 1) using prereflexive schemata for the body
coordination is turned by players to the technical interface (interface
2) of a game to develop a game-interface (interface 3) for the plunging
into the game world (immersion). In the case of ego shooters the game-interface
(interface 3) is a self-organized learning process combining the acting
self-orientation constituting the world-interface (interface 1) with the
technical interface (interface 2). This combination is experienced in
the game play as direct although it is the result of mediations.
VII.1.3.2 God Games
The solving of tasks is the central
demand of strategy and simulation games in the "third person overview".
54 The difference to battle games involving players
in the "first person perspective" (see chap. VII.1.3.1) is explained
in the following at examples of god games with players deciding like an
imperator, leader or planning organiser about the constitution of fictive
social systems. 55
From 1962 to 1964 the Center for Educational Services and Research of
the Board of Educational Services (BOCES, Northern Westchester/New York)
cooperated with IBM at the realisation of two computer games for learning
purposes. Three terminals (IBM
1050, since 1963) were connected via Dataphone to an IBM
7090 mainframe computer (since 1959). William McKay (IBM) programmed
both games in FORTRAN (Fortran Assembly Program/FAP) for a timesharing
system (see chap. VI.1.1 with ann.3).
Center for Educational Services and Research of the
Board of Educational Services (BOCES)/William McKay (IBM): The Sumerian
Game 1962-64, computer game for a timesharing system (Wing: Economics
In the text based "Sumerian Game" players
try to act in the role of a priest ruler in the city-state of Lagash (Mesopotamia,
3500 b.c.). The player receives a status report by the court advisor.
The Royal Steward asks the player how many bushels of grain should be
stored in the inventory and how many of them should be "planted for
the next crop". The player has to make further decisions in using
the consequences of his earlier decisions as they are determined by the
game system. The player can come to grips with the evolution of the city-state
in three steps from a trading dominated by agricultural products to the
evolution of crafts up to the development of the barter trade. In 1965/66
25 students tested the game (Mohansic School, Yorktown Heights/New York).
In 1968 the text based "The Sumer Game" was programmed in FOCAL
and sometimes Doug Dyment, sometimes Richard Merrill are named as authors.
When in 1968 the last one developed FOCAL (Formula Calculator), then he
minicomputers (since 1965) by DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) with
the interpreter FOCAL 68 to read his program and to process data.
The player is put into the position of the steward
of Hammurapi, the sixth king of the First Babylonian dynasty in the 2nd
millenium before Christ (1792-1750 b.c). In an introductory presentation
the economic situation of the Babylonian population is explained. Criteria
concerning the land, grain, population and adverse circumstances should
be taken into consideration by players before they answer the questions
in entering numbers. Who sells too large shares of the harvest will starve
out the population. If players take bad decisions of this kind as stewards
then they will be chosen to leave their offices: That will be the end
of the game. The players explore the program in experiencing its reactions
to their entries. Conclusions provoked by experiences with bad decisions
can be brought in by players in repetitions of the game. 57
David H. Ahl developed a version
in BASIC for a ten years lasting administration. Players have to develop
strategies for the benefit of the population and the land for an administration
avoiding self-caused catastrophes within the next ten years and reacting
to preprogrammed emergency situations. For every task four variables are
offered to the players to be substituted by self selected dates. 58
Ahl, David H.: Hammurabi (Ahl: BASIC 1978, p.78).
In the seventies variants of "The Sumer Game"
were developed. They augment the strategy game and transfer it to other
countries and epochs. 59
In the game "Utopia"
(1981, Mattel Electronics 60) for the console Mattel
Intellivision (since 1980) the multi-button keypad of the controller facilitated
the choice of alternatives to take the best decisions for an island and
its population. In the areas of agriculture, industry, fish farming and
army a player could act alone or against a ruler of another island. Two-dimensional
graphics were used to illustrate the consequences of decisions. The player´s
time for his efforts to win levels was limited.
Daglow, Don: Utopia, Mattel Electronics, 1981, game
for the console Mattel Intellivision (since 1980).
Conflicts like the natural catastrophes and the piracy
did not allow to understand the name "Utopia" as a designation
for a game world showing an ideal state. Rather the conflicts point to
deficits like missing answers to catastrophes and thieves. 61
Crane, David/Gold, Rich: Little Computer People, Activision,
1985, computer game.
In the eighties the strategy
games are modified into games for the organisation of private lives at
first in "Little
Computer People" (David Crane and Rich Gold for Contemporary,
Activision 1985, computer game 62) and "Alter
Ego" (Peter J. Favaro for Contemporary, Activision 1986, computer
game 63). In "Little Computer People" the
living on several floors of a house is represented in vertical plans,
like cuts through the `inner life of a house´. In contrast to the
"Little Computer People" "Alter Ego" is a text-based
game: It describes the actions of a house´s inhabitants. The player
makes selections from the offered scope for actions and receives a description
of its effects.
Favaro, Peter J.: Alter Ego, Activision, 1986, computer
In contrary to this organisation of private lives
the real-time strategy game "Populous"
(Peter Molyneux for Bullfrog Productions, Electronic Arts, 1989, computer
game) offers a player the role of a deity directing the fortune of a population
against another god in 500 worlds. The player can observe the consequences
of his decisions in isometric views. The game world and its events can
be influenced in pressing the buttons integrated into the floor panels
being a part of the 3D simulation. 64
When Will Wright developed "Sim
City" (Maxis, Electronic Arts 1989, computer game) he was inspired
by colleagues having constructed "Little Computer People". 65
However Wright takes up again the auctorial role of a player as a ruler
of wider social entities: As before in "The Sumer Game", the
city is the basic unity of the oversight made possible by top views in
different windows. Later versions of "Sim City" offer isometric
Wright, Will/Maxis: Sim City, Electronic Arts, 1989,
The manual describes the player´s role as a
"combination Mayor and City Planner". Players take decisions
for all issues of their city, this includes the fire brigade, the police
and the traffic. When players determine the infrastructure then they follow
constraints and consequences resulting from their earlier decisions. For
zoning and the determination of an infrastructure the gaming system subtracts
more than the expenses they cause for a municipal administration to install
them. So the game´s affordances can cause players to prefer the
perspectives of a land owner or a property investor more than the perspective
of a mayor. 67
In 1991 Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley developed "Civilization"
as a redesign of an identically named board game designed by Frances Treshan
(Hartland Trefoil, 1980). "Sim City´s" urban perspective
was expanded in "Civilization" to a perspective on a civilisation:
In a constructed history of a civilisation (from 4000 B.C. to 2020 A.C.)
with elements taken from the course of the real history players act from
the perspective of a leader.
Players choose the degree of difficulty. They can
shift from a top view of the selected land to boards with icons. With
these icons and text windows players can select further elements determining
the course of a game. Informations, inquiries from foreign rulers, war
news and elements to be constructed are presented in windows.
After an abandoned walkthrough players can resume the game on various
levels and plan their next paths. 68
In "Bombs, Bavarians, and
Backstories" David Myers shows the differences between the inevitable
ideological implications of the background story and the strategies of
players not wanting to follow an Eurocentric perspective 69
affirming the technical progress. How ever much "Civilization"
implicates an Eurocentric perspective, nevertheless the game is complex
enough to give skilled players chances to find for example strategies
for moves from an Indian perspective more promising than the American
perspective determined by the European civilisation and favored in the
manuals and the promotion 70:
...among dedicated game players, the more barbarian-like `Indians´ (e.g. Iroquois) are usually considered more advantageously played than the (assumedly) less barbarian-like Americans.
In "Civilization" players can benefit from Indian concepts
of nature in developing their views of environmental pollution. The negative
connotation of non-European cultures as "Barbarian" is questionable
if players use so-called Barbarian elements successful in specific phases
of their efforts to build cultures:
Rather than treating (and valuing) the barbarians
as an oppositional force, dedicated game players are much more likely
to attempt to develop their early civilizations with the barbarians´
The players of "Civilization" have to find
their own ways between the technical possibilities of the game system
and the social semantic fields of its signs. Myers finds "the aesthetics
of play" in the technical and semantic possibilities being offered
to players by more complex games to deviate from guidelines restricting
semantic fields and to resist Eurocentrism. 72
Players of "god games" like "Sim City"
and "Civilization" move in
a distanced "third person perspective" not as directly involved
as in ego shooters (see chap. VII.1.3.1),
a "dispersed" perspective when acting on several levels
and triggering actions,
perspective assigning the player an authorial role on the level of the
operational activity. 73
Contrary to the players of "ego shooters"
(see chap. VII.1.3.1) navigating under time pressure in the battle zones
of game worlds the players act in strategy and simulation games simultaneously
from points of view `above´ the action field and within it. This
offers skilled players chances to develop their own strategies in the
interplay between technical functions and semantic specifications. The
preprogramming of a game can contain tensions between the possible technical
functions of the game system and ideological perspectives restricting
the semantic fields. 74
For a walkthrough players of strategy games choose between programmed
possibilities. With this choice in an authorial position for the determination
of elements depending from each other players are set by strategy games
in positions affording to explore the possibilities of the game system
in taking decisions over the activation of processes. With their explorations
of the game system´s possibilities the players actualise functions
of the programmed internal model player.
The intention of a game developers´
project is made manifest in the coding of a computer game´s system:
"God 1" is the team of the programming developers and "god
2" is the player set in an authorial position and enabled to dispose
over components in selecting them as parts of an evolving game world.
The player adopts an "external" position in reconstructing the
program and the intentions of "god 1", meanwhile he occupies
as "god 2" an "internal" position within the programmed
game world, but this is a privileged position. 75
The players of "god games" move on the interface between the
"external" and the "internal" position, between efforts
to reconstruct the game system produced by "god 1" and playing
as "god 2" selecting a constellation of the game world: On the
one hand he can fail in an "internal" position (and he can loose
his position in "The Sumer Game"), on the other hand he can
select one of the possible constellations of the game world in an external
reconstructing perspective, and in this position he can choose interdepencies
with regards to enable himself in the internal position to win the game.
"Immersed" 76 in game conditions players
of "ego shooters" act under time pressure and activate practiced
action patterns at the technical interfaces. However players of "god
games" train to concentrate themselves at the interface connecting
"internal" and "external" points of view, between
the programmed possibilities installed by "god 1" and further
moves as decisions taken from the perspective of "god 2". The
continuation of this concentration on the fulfillment of tasks is facilitated
by augmented experiences with the game´s system.
With a more detailed realism
of simulations players follow easier at the technical interface the ego
shooters´ elements trying to immerse them into the "navigable
space" 77 (see chap. VII.1.3.1), whereas the strategy
and simulation games "involve" 78 the player
with his distanced actions at the interface between external and internal
points of view, between decisions for the actualisation of programmed
parts and the screen´s simulation of the game world.
Players of "god games" ameliorate their game-interface (cognitive
access to the game world, interface 3, see chap. V.2, VII.2, VIII.2) in
correcting permanently at the technical interface (technical access to
the game world, interface 2, see chap. V.2, VII.2, VIII.2) their mediations
between their own social experiences (world observation, interface 1,
see chap. V.2VII.2, VIII.2) and the acquired knowledge of the game system´s
reactions to entries.
Dr. Thomas Dreher
Germany. Homepage with numerous articles
on art history since the sixties, a. o. on Concept Art and Intermedia
8 Without Author: NIMROD, Part
1: Electronic Brains 1951.
In 1954, as the Ferranti Nimrod was presented at the "Berliner Industrieausstellung"
(exhibition of industrial products in Berlin) with the inscription "Elektronengehirn"
("electronic brain"). The clarification in the booklet on NIMROD
did not prevent a bold use of the term "electronic brain" in
exhibitions (Borchers: Jahre 2001; Donovan: Replay 2010, p.6). back
9 Cf. Donovan: Replay 2010, p.5s.
Also Grey Walter´s light searching robots (see chap. II.2.3) were
shown in the last room of the exhibition, as a part of the department
"How We Know" (Bronowski: Exhibition 1951 with the catalogue
number ES106 "Machina Speculatrix").
10 Shannon: Programming 1950, chap.2 (pdf p.4). back
11 Shannon: Programming 1950, chap. 5 (pdf p.8). back
12 Bell: Games 1972, chap.5;
Copeland: Intelligence 2000, chap. Early AI programs. back
13 Copeland: Intelligence 2000, chap. Early AI programs.
In 1952 Arthur Lee Samuel started to develop a program to play draughts
against the mainframe computer IBM
701 (1953). The program was improved in the course of the fifties.
These upgrades caused versed players of draughts to estimate their chances
to win against the technical opponent as not high but also not impossible.
The methods of the program to learn from the opponent´s moves became
important elements of artificial intelligence (Donovan: Replay 2010, p.6s.;
Schaeffer: Jump 2009, p.87-97; Sutton/Barto: Reinforcement 1998, chap.
11.2, p.267ss.). back
14 Shannon: Programming 1950, chap.1 (pdf p.1). back
15 Patent: Goldsmith/Grove/Ray: States 1948. Lit.:
Cohen: Cathode Ray Tube undated; Dixon: Computer 2006, chap. History of
Computer Games: The Beginning; Günzel: Zeit 2010, p.91s. back
16 Koubek: OXO 2009, chap. OXO Strategie auf
dem EDSAC (pdf p.1-3); Winter: Noughts undated. back
17 Quotation: William Higinbotham. In: without author:
Video Games 1981. back
18 Gettler: Video Game undated. Lit.: Donovan: Replay
2010, p.8s.; Kushner: Masters 2003, p.8; Mäyrä: Introduction
2008, p.40,58; Malliet/Meyer: History 2005, p.23; Pias: Computer 2010,
p.13s.; Pias: Pflichten 2005, p.321ss.; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.456. back
19 Graetz: Origin 1981, chap. I. Before Spacewar: "You
Mean That's All It Does?" back
20 Quotations: Graetz: Origin 1981, chap. II Spacewar!
Begun: The Hackers meet Spacewar!, chap. III Spacewar! Complete: The Control
The levers of the control units came from the collection of the MIT´s
Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC. Botz: Kunst 2011, p.37,40; Graetz: Origin
1981, chap. III Spacewar! Complete: The Control Boxes). back
21 Graetz: Origin 1981, chap. III Spacewar! Complete:
The Heavy Star. back
22 Brand: Spacewar 1972, chap. Spacewar; Donovan: Replay
2010, p.9ss.; Graetz: Origin 1981; Herz: Joystick 1997, chap.
One; Kent: History 2001, p.17-21; Koubek: OXO 2009, chap. Spacewar!
Action auf der PDP-1; Mäyrä: Introduction 2008, p.41s.,58;
Malliet/Meyer: History 2005, p.24; Manovich: Language 2001, p.253; Manovich:
Space 1998, chap. Computer Space; Myers: Nature 2003, p.9s.; Pias: Computer
2010, p.84ss.; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.427s. back
23 Brand: Spacewar 1972.
On the term `video game´: The term´s narrower semantic field
encompasses game automats and consoles (see chap. VII.1.2) with a technical
equipment constructed to play specific games (Neitzel: Geschichten 2000,
24 Huhtamo: Slots 2005, p.14s.; Liebe: Dispositive
2008, p.83ss.; Neitzel: Geschichten 2000, p.163 with ann.3, p.203s. back
25 Liebe: Dispositive 2008, p.85s. Cf. Warnke: Situation
1979, p.685s. (television and couch corner). back
26 Donovan: Replay 2010, p.19ss.,22s.; Forster: Spielkonsolen
2009, p.14s. ("Odyssey" is "constituted by capacitors,
resistors, transistors and diodes"); Herz: Joystick 1997, p.62s.;
Kent: History 2001, p.31-34; Malliet/Meyer: History 2005, p.25,26; Manovich:
Space 1998, chap. Computer Space; Yagoda: Nutting undated. back
28 Kent: History 2001, p.116ss.; Mäyrä: Introduction
2008, p.62-66; Malliet/Meyer: History 2005, p.8s.; Neitzel: Geschichten
2000, p.172-175; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.424s. back
29 Kent: History 2001, p.131s.; Malliet/Meyer: History
2005, p.30; Neitzel: Geschichten 2000, p.171s.,174s. back
30 Neitzel: Geschichten 2000, p.166 with ann.8. back
31 Forster: Spielkonsolen 2009, p.16,24-32,40 et al.;
Kent: History 2001, p.98ss.; Malliet/Meyer: History 2005, p.26s.; Neitzel:
Geschichten 2000, p.171; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.82s. back
32 Günzel: Egoshooter 2012, p.34; Herz: Joystick
1997, p.63; Kent: History 2001, p.40-48,51-54; Mäyrä: Introduction
2008, p.41,58ss. (with a reference to the "transistor-transistor
logic, TTL"),66,72; Neitzel: Geschichten 2000, p.169ss.; Pias: Computer
2010, p.112ss.; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.366s. back
33 Kent: History 2001, p.58,60-64. Atari had to come
in turn to a licence contract with Magnavox: Magnavox advocated Ralph
Baer´s licence rights, including a patent for a console containing
"Ping-Pong". Atari missed the money necessary for a legal dispute
with Magnavox and got the licence at favorable conditions (Kent: History
2001, p.46ss.). back
34 Kent: History 2001, p.80-83; Malliet/Meyer: History
2005, p.26s.; Pias: Computer 2010, p.112ss. back
35 Forster: Spielkonsolen 2009, p.24-27; Neitzel: Geschichten
2000, p.171. back
37 Forster: Spielkonsolen 2009, p.18-22,34-38,62-66.
On the Commodore C64´s importance in the eighties´ cracktro-
and demoscene : see chap. IV.126.96.36.199. back
38 Dixon: Computer 2006, chap. 1980s; Forster: Spielkonsolen
2009, p.48s.; Malliet/Meyer: History 2005, p.33-37. back
39 Colley: Story 2004. Cf. Palmer: History 2004: "...we
had been experimenting with adhoc LANS for the Imlacs as part of our more
serious work." back
40 Colley: Story 2004; Günzel: Egoshooter 2012,
p.46s.; Palmer: History 2004.
"Maze War" versions for other platforms: Colley: Story 2004;
Wadlow: Xerox 1981, chapt. The Network. back
41 Bowery: Spasim 1974; Shahrani: Feature 2006, chap.
The Beginning 1974 to 1991. back
42 Günzel: Raum 2008, p.124s. Lit.: Donovan: Replay
2010, p.84,131,250; Günzel: Egoshooter 2012, p.138,207; Kent: History
2001, p.149; Shahrani: Feature 2006, chap. The Beginning 1974 to
1991; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.53. back
43 "The Eidolon": Brigadoon: Eidolon undated.
"MIDI Maze": Lederer: Jahre 2007. back
44 For "ray casting" a designer develops
geometric rules (like the walls of "Wolfenstein 3D" always at
a right angle to the floor) for groups of rays meanwhile in "ray
tracing" each beam is calculated for itself (see chap. IV.2. with
ann.37. Lit.: Permadi: Ray-Casting 1996, esp. chap. Ray-Casting
and Ray-Tracing). back
45 Sprites: little graphical elements to be drawn over
the screen without necessity to be deleted in their last location and
to be stored on their new location. The videochip "administers"
the sprites "separately" (Botz: Kunst 2011, p.49).
Lit. about "Wolfenstein 3D": Donovan: Replay 2010, p.258ss.;
Günzel: Egoshooter 2012, p.135,139,146,235s.; Hitchens: Family 2009,
chap. 1-2; Kent: History 2001, p.400,458s.; Kushner: Masters 2003, S.92-101,106-122;
Lederer: Jahre 2007; Malliet/Meyer: History 2005, p.40s.; Myers: Nature
2003, p.102s.; Shahrani: Feature 2006, chap. Evolution of the Engines;
Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.499s.
Lit. about "Wolfenstein 3D": Castle Wolfenstein (1982, Muse
Software, arcade game. Lit.: Myers: Nature 2003, p.100s.; Wirsig: Lexikon
2003, p.83); Catacomb 3D (1991, id Software, Computerspiel. Lit.: Kent:
History 2001, p.458, Kushner: Masters 2003, p.89). back
49 Kushner: Doom 2003, p.132.
The narrative frame being disabandoned because of a lack of connections
with moves programmed in the game´s system: A portal to hell was
opened by experiments with teleportation on two moons of the planet Mars.
After the research institutes on the Marsmoon Phobos were liberated from
demons the player teleports himself to the Marsmoon Deimos. This moon
was carried out of its Mars orbit to the "hell dimension". From
there the fighting ways lead to the hell to fight against the centre of
the demonic invasion (Hall: Doom 1992). back
50 Players were enabled to design levels by "Doom´s"
level editor (Neitzel: Geschichten 2000, p.142, ann.28, p.196, ann.35;
Shahrani: Feature 2006, chap. Evolution of the Engines; Wirsig: Lexikon
In 1997 the source code for the operating system Linux was published and
released for noncommercial uses. In October 1999 the source code was published
again in using the copyright regulations of the GNU
General Public Licence (Doom wiki: Doom 2011; Mäyrä: Introduction
Lit. about "Doom": Aarseth: Allegories 2004, p.161; Donovan:
Replay 2010, p.259-262; Günzel: Raum 2008, p.124; Kent: History 2001,
p.459s.; Kushner: Doom 2003, p.126-138,141-153; Mäyrä: Introduction
2008, p.101-106, 108-112; Manovich: Language 2001, p.244s.; Manovich:
Space 1998, chap. Doom and Myst; Myers: Nature 2003, p.104-111; Neitzel:
Geschichten 2000, p.194ss.; Neitzel: Point 2007, p.12,21p.; Shahrani:
Feature 2006, chap. Evolution of the Engines; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.134s.
52 Neitzel describes the player while immersed in the
game world as expecting to be attacked from behind (Neitzel: Point 2007,
p.22). The player does not forget his reduction of the body coordination
in his concentration on the screen when acting at the technical interface
with manual, mouse and joystick: Under game conditions the player mentally
cuts out the environment in his concentration on the coordination of his
moves while looking on the screen. The surrounding around the body is
excluded by the player´s reduction of his actions on the self-conditioned
reflexes at the technical interface (joystick, manual). back
53 "Incorporeal vision" ("körperloses
Sehen") : Neitzel: Geschichten 2000, p.126; Neitzel: Point 2007,
54 "Third Person Total Overview": Malliet/Meyer:
History 2005, p.42.
Strategy and simulation games: Kücklich: Computerspielphilologie
2002, p.35ss.; Wolf: Medium 2002, chap. 6: Genre
and the Video Game on the "management simulation". back
55 Kücklich: Computerphilologie 2002, p.36s.;
Malliet/Meyer: History 2005, p.37,42; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.192s. back
56 Wing: Economics 1966. The second game was the "Sierra
Leone Development Project". It was developed for students. back
58 Ahl: BASIC 1978, p.78s.; Myers: Nature 2003, p.43ss.
The net version
offers tips to players to find ways to get into the game easier. back
59 Merrill, Richard/Ahl, David/Schneider, Lee/Voros,
Todd et al.: Dukedom, 1976, computer game (Ahl: Dukedom 1984); Storer,
James A.: King, Creative Computing, Morristown/New Jersey 1978, computer
game (Ahl: BASIC 1978, p.96ss.); Fong, Weyman: Dynasty,
Apple Core, 1978, computer game for personal computer (Apple II); Blank,
Paravia en Fiumaccio, Softside 1978, computer game for personal computer
(Apple II); Schneider, Lee/Voros, Todd: Kingdom,
Atari 1980, computer game for personal computer (Atari 800). back
60 Console Mattel Intellivision, since 1980. Lit.:
Forster: Spielkonsolen 2009, p.40ss. back
61 Cassidy: Utopia 2004; Donovan: Replay 2010, p.190s.
62 Grannell: Computer 2001; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.276s.
63 Gnome: Ego 2007; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.21s. back
69 Galloway: Gaming 2006, p.106; Poblocki: Becoming-State
2002, p.175. back
70 Poblocki: Becoming-State 2002, p.166,168,171s. back
71 Myers: Bombs 2005, chap. Barbarous Treatments. back
72 Myers: Bombs 2005, chap. A Theoretical Interlude,
In the Back of the Backstories.
Further literature on the first version of "Civilization": Carr:
Trouble 2007; Donovan: Replay 2010, p.196; Galloway: Gaming 2006, p.95s.,99,101s.;
Günzel: Egoshooter 2012, p.257s.; Mäyrä: Introduction 2008,
p.95-101; Myers: Nature 2003, p.131ss.,135s.,140s.; Reichert: Government-Games
2008; Tyler: Test 2009; Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.90. back
73 Neitzel: Geschichten 2000, p.217s.; Neitzel: Point
2007, p.23-26. back
74 Myers: Bombs 2005, chap. Saving, Reloading and Replay.
75 Neitzel: Narrativity 2005, p.237; Ryan: Myth 2001,
chap. VR narrative, and the myth of the Holodeck.
About the distinction between internal (resp. model) player and implicit
player: Dreher: Weibel 1997, p.39,49s. with ann.49 (with an adaptation
of Umberto Eco´s distinction between the implicit, the internal
and the external reader. In: Eco: Lector 1990, chap. 3.6, p.76-82). The
terminology proposed here differs from Aarseth: Cybertext 1997, p.120,124,127
and Neitzel: Narrativity 2005, p.240s. back
76 Cf. the discourse on "immersion": Mäyrä:
Introduction 2008, p.108ss.; Ermi/Mäyrä: Components 2005; Neitzel:
Medienrezeption 2008, p.100ss.; Neitzel/Nohr: Spiel 2006, p.16s.; Schmidt:
Illusion 2007. back