A group of students at M.I.T. in 1962 created a game which is credited as the first influential computer game, “Spacewar!”. Steve Russell, Martin Graetz and Wayne Witaenem conceived of the game in 1961 with the intent of implementing it on a DEC PDP-1 computer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Russell began programing and by February 1962 after 200-man hours of work he had produced his first version.
William Higinbotham a physicist at Brookhaven Lab’s in New York realized how most of the science exhibits were non-interactive and he wanted to change that. In the spirit to attract more attention to the annual visitor’s day at Brookhaven Higinbotham had the idea to create a tennis computer game where two players could compete against each other.
In 1952, Alexander S. Douglas a computer science professor at the University of Cambridge wrote a thesis while working towards earning his PhD which focused on human-computer interactions and he needed an example to prove his theories. Douglas had access to an Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC) which was one of two stored-program computers that existed at the time. This provided Douglas with the opportunity to prove his findings by programming a simple game where a player could compete against a computer.