1971 Computer space put players in command of a spaceship and instructed them to shoot down incoming flying saucers. Its gameplay was as simple as it gets, but everything about Computer spaceTechnology and commercial “insert-quarter-to-play” release would soon form the basis of the arcade video game industry. But of course, Computer space Co-creator Nolan Bushnell’s next major project, 1972 pongwould end up being much more successful.
14. First Female Video Game Protagonist – Billie Sue (Wabbit)
The first game featuring a named, playable female character dates back to 1982 wabbit for the Atari 2600. This unique title featured a farmer named Billie Sue, tasked with defending crops from rabbits.
Interesting way, wabbit was also one of the first examples of a game designed by a woman (the Vietnamese programmer Van Mai, then Van Tran). Unfortunately, because she was mistakenly identified as Ban Tran for a while (and left the gaming industry shortly after wabbitde), his contributions to the industry were almost forgotten. Fortunately, researchers have helped restore her and Billie Sue’s place in history.
13. First video game cheat code – “xyzzy” (Colossal Cave Adventure)
You have to go back to 1977 Adventure in a colossal cave to find the very first cheat code. In this text-based adventure title, players can type the phrase “xyzzy” at a certain point in order to skip a large portion of the game.
Interestingly, designer Will Crowther implemented the “xyzzy” command at the request of his sister, who was helping him test the game. Crowther left it in the last game because he figured there was probably “lots of impatient people who would appreciate a shortcut”. Many early cheat codes were actually implemented to help developers test their games more effectively, and fans discovered them through posts, word of mouth, and experimentation.
12. First Secret Character – Reptile (Mortal Kombat)
Many modern developers use the idea of a secret character not only to reward curious players, but also to inspire us to explore every inch of a digital world. As popular as the idea of secret characters is these days, it’s not as old as one might think.