The first ‘Intergalactic spacewar olympics’ will be held here, Wednesday 19 October, 2000 hours. First prize will be a year’s subscription to “Rolling Stone”. The gala event will be reported by Stone Sports reporter Stewart Brand & photographed by Annie Liebowitz. Free Beer!
With these words in a flyer, 40 years ago, the first known video gaming tournament ever was about to take place. The Spacewar! video game, which had already spread across the USA and Canada during the previous 11 years, was the main attraction for this tournament. One could see real good players there, but prizes were only for the best ones: Slim Tovar and Robert E Maas for the best team, and Bruce Baumgart for the free-for-all competition.
It’s amazing that we still have a chance to play that game on the original platform, the PDP-1, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. Even one of its main developers, Steve Rusell, will be delighted to demonstrate how it works and how it was designed and developed. So if you have the chance… don’t miss it, RetroGamers!!!