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The Arcade Age Exhibit

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Computer Space, 1971

Seamus Keane, Director of Special Events and Curator of the Arcade Age Exhibit with George Portugal of the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo, talking a little bit about the history of Computer Space, and what it took to get ours running for visitor's to enjoy.

Computer Space is a space combat arcade game developed in 1971. Created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, before they founded Atari, it was the first arcade video game as well as the first commercially available video game. Computer Space is a derivative of the 1962 computer game Spacewar!, and possibly the first video game to spread to multiple computer installations. It features a rocket controlled by the player engaged in a missile battle with a pair of hardware-controlled flying saucers set against a starfield background. The goal is to score more hits than the enemy spaceships within a set time period, which awards a free round of gameplay. The game is enclosed in a custom fiberglass cabinet, which Bushnell designed to look futuristic.