Before Pong there was Computer Space, the first commercial video game. The progenitor of today’s US$175 billion industry debuted on Oct. 15, 1971, at the Music Operators of America trade show in Chicago. Housed in a futuristic-looking cabinet, Computer Space took its place alongside the latest jukeboxes, pinball machines and other coin-operated games manufacturers were pitching to arcade and bar owners. Computer Space, made by the small company Nutting Associates, seemed to have everything going for it. Its scenario – flying a rocket ship through space locked in a dogfight with two flying saucers – seemed perfect for the times.…

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