Archive.org Adds Spacewar! to Historical Software Collection

Spacewar!'s starting point.
So Simple, So Elegant

Archive.org, also known as the Internet Wayback Machine, has for a while now been building an Historical Software Collection that’s been adding all sorts of awesome games we all grew up with, from E.T. and Pitfall and Choplifter…okay, maybe games I grew up with, but still, it’s pretty awesome. Well, according to a blog post, they just added the grandaddy of all space games, SpaceWar! from 1962! A while back I reviewed SpaceWar! using a little Java applet, but the emulator here is much more advanced, requiring an actual startup sequence and so on. If you’ve not experienced not only the oldest of space games, but one of the oldest video games period (only beaten by a Tic Tac Toe game that came out a bit earlier), check it out!

2 comments on Archive.org Adds Spacewar! to Historical Software Collection

  1. Waybackwhen, I played a port/homage/knockoff of this extensively. It was on my Mum’s old 286 with the green-and-black monochrome screen she bought for Uni, and the first non-educational game (apart from semi-Newtonian physics, that is ;) ) I can ever remember playing. It was on a 5 1/4″ floppy that Mum wrote instructions on so that little 4-year-old me could remind myself of how to run it. (starting a lifelong obsession with video games, computers in general, and SPACE).

    I still have that disc. Mum incorporated it in the craft project she made for my 25th.

    When I tried to recreate that experience on my kickarse gaming computer I built a few years ago (needs upgrading), I found that the version of Spacewar I played was actually too advanced for the emulation of various monochrome/limited colour cards (like Tandy) DOSBox had. It needed an advanced card – a CGA!, but I played it on a monochrome computer. That was because, for a while there, “advanced” graphics cards capable of 16 whole colours were cheap and almost standard, but a monitor compatible with them _also_ capable of colour was frickin’ expensive. So you had computers with the most advanced graphics cards in common usage of the day, saddled with monochrome screens.

    I tried playing it, but it wasn’t the same. So I poked around, and found this: http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=29101&sid=83b27ebec734be68f7724767527078aa – which allowed me to play it in 16 glorious shades of green, and along with my expensive gaming mechanical keyboard, felt almost perfect!

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