I’m going to start my detailed look into gaming in the year 1977 for a number of important reasons. But before we go into that, I would like to highlight some of the most important steps in video game history to this point. After all, nothing just appears at random… its a long succession of development, innovations, and steps taken along the way.
One thing I find fascinating is that when I first thought I would start playing through videogame history, I figured that would begin with Atari 2600 games. Then I discovered there were other systems before the Atari came out. And the more I looked into it, the deeper the rabbit hole became as I found learned of many many “firsts”, the story of Pong, the development of the first microcomputers, and on it went. So it’s hard to start a history of video games, because WHERE should you start?
So I chose to start in 1977 as it’s a fairly pivotal year in the launch of the Atari 2600, but ALSO the trinity of the first pre-built microcomputers: Radio Shack’s TRS-80, The APPLE II, and the commodore PET. Each had a different market approach, each had benefits and downfalls. But the 2600 represented the beginning of a new mass market for home consoles, and the three computers signaled the beginning of a new home microcomputer wave. And it all happened in that rich year of 1977. But how did we get there? Without going too deep down the rabbit hole, there are a few significant items I’d like to zero in on.