Video games have a longer history than people realize. Many people assume that video games started only in the early 1980s. The history of video games actually goes back as far back as the end of World War II.
First, there seems to some confusion between what a computer game is and what a video game is. A computer is a game is controlled by a computer. You use a PC or a Macintosh to play the game. The device that you use primarily for a video game is a monitor or television. You usually must attach a device to the television to play. The device is called a video game system. Some examples of video game systems are Sony Playstation 2, Xbox and Nintendo Entertainment System. You can only see the game by attaching the game system to the monitor.
The first games were on computer, but without these games, they would not have been able to develop the video game system. They were usually on the technology that existed at the time such as oscilloscopes, university main frames and EDSAC computers. The very first computer game was a missile simulation game created by Thomas Goldsmith and Estle Ray Mann. A.S, Douglas then invented a tic-tac-toe game to be a part of his thesis at Cambridge University. You played this game on a very large Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC) computer.
In 1958, after being best known for his participation in building the first atomic bomb, he created a tennic computer game to entertain people that attended Brookhaven National Laboratory's open houses. At MIT, in 1962, a man named Steve Russell made games called Spacewar and John's Great Adventure for a PDP-1 mini-computer. In 1968, Ralph Baer was the one who invented the video game by creating the first video game console called the "Television Gaming and Training Apparatus." You could play a tennis game that was highly similar to arcade game called Pong. He later worked for Magnavox to create a video game console called the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972.
American's jumped on the band wagon in the 1970s; the rest of the history of the video game console has been dominated by the Japanese. Nintendo and Sony, Japanese companies, have pretty much dominated the market since 1985. Nintendo is known for creating well-known characters like the Mario Brothers. The Mario Brothers were so popular that a movie was made about them. Sony is known for creating the PlayStation, the first video game console to have 32-bit technology. This allowed video games to have a 3D feel.