The History of Video Games

This is a Discovery Channel program covering the history of video games from the beginnings of Atari to the Nintendo Game Boy.

It’s just over 46 minutes long (it’s the full, uncut episode) and is very interesting if you have the time.


It also makes me rather cranky. Back in 1980, I got my first computer (the Atari 400 with a whopping 8K of RAM!). I was programming in basic and by 1982 I had written several fun games for the TSR-80…. the largest of which was a Dungeon & Dragons style game.

It generated a random map with random monsters and treasure and supported up to 4 players (it was a turn based game). It had text at the bottom of the screen giving descriptions of each room and generated a map of explored areas above.

It was also a lot of fun!

My friend Dewayne and I thought we were sitting on a gold mine if we could only sell it. Those dreams were dashed when I read an article in Dragon Magazine (the official D&D magazine) that stated they were in no way interested in computer games (because that wasn’t the focus of the game, and it never would be).

We dropped the project, and the floppy that it lived on was eventually erased to make room for another program.

Other computers I’ve owned over time (prior to the 286): The Kaypro 1 and the Amstrad PCW 8512.

Of course, my current video card has more memory and a faster GPU than my first 9 computers combined.