This article’s history is wrong. The first video game was not 1971’s Computer Space. It’s 1958’s Tennis for Two, which actually had considerably different controls from Pong (despite also being a tennis game, it’s arguably closer to Angry Birds).
Tennis for Two was predated by Nimrod, a computer that played the game of Nim in 1951. It didn’t “draw pictures on a screen” though (it lit up lights). OXO played Tic-Tac-Toe by drawing pictures on a screen in 1952, six years before Tennis for Two. All the way back in 1947, the Cathode-ray-tube amusement device let you try to hit a target (drawn on a plastic overlay) by twiddling knobs; it drew a picture on a screen but wasn’t run on a computer.
Just like there are many candidates of “first computer” depending on how you define “first” and “computer”, there are a lot of candidates for first “video” “game”…
If we require that the game be electronic, draw a picture on a screen, and run on a general-purpose computer, the earliest one that I can find is OXO
(Why yes, I am fun at parties…)
Interesting! I hadn’t heard of that one. My first thought was that 1962’s Spacewar was the first video game, but it looks like Tennis for Two has it beat.