Sudbury prof says 'video game revolution' started in the 1970s

Technology has changed a lot in the past 40 years, including video games.
The 1970s were a time when handheld video games started to become popular. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Technology has changed a lot in the past 40 years, including video games.

This year, CBC Sudbury is looking back as we celebrate our 40th anniversary of being on the air in northeastern Ontario.

Laurentian University computer science professor Aaron Langille says looking back, it's hard to pinpoint the origin of the original video game.

"I think some of the original games may have even been lost [as] nobody reported them," he said.

"A lot of these things were experiments by programmers, computer science students and even electronics students."

Aaron Langille is a professor of computer science and game design at Laurentian University in Sudbury. (Aaron Langille/Supplied)

Langille says although some games, such as Tennis for Two, were developed in the late 1950s, the industry didn't take off until the 1970s.

He says one game that stands out from that time is Pong, the arcade version of which was released in 1972.

"It arguably did kick off a lot of that industry at that time," he said.

"It was immensely popular for what it was. It really did help to start the video game revolution."

Beyond arcade games, Langille says games people could play at home also became popular.

Handheld games including Merlin and Mattel Electronics Handheld Football Game also came out during that time.


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