26 Nov, 2007
We've previously filled your head sponge with 101 things you didn't know about games, well now we continue our virtual factual feastery by proudly presenting this rather fascinating list of gaming firsts. The first console, the first video game, the first four-player, the first boss, the first co-op, the first sequel, the first online game, the first jump, the first black protagonist, the first character described as "homosexual", the first female game designer, the first game cameo in a movie... You'll find these and many, many more (over 84 firsts!) delicious bits of gaming trivia scattered over the next few pages.
It's the kind of essential gaming history stuff that all gamers should know (at least for a little while until something more interesting and/or useful comes along that requires the brain space). So, enough with the superfluous babbling, let the jamboree of info consumption commence...
#01 The first game designed in its entirety by Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto was the company's 1981 arcade classic, Donkey Kong.
#02 The first female video game designer is widely considered to be Carol Shaw. She created 3D Tic-Tac-Toe for the Atari 2600 in 1979. Her best known game is Activision's River Raid, which itself was one of the first vertical scrolling shooters.
#03 So which game first introduced us to the concept of end of level bosses? That'll be the 1980 arcade game, Phoenix, in which players had to shoot their way through a mothership's defences to get a clear shot at a tentacled alien. Score a single hit on the extra-terrestrial and further progression was secured.
#04 Halo's universe saving Spartan, Master Chief, is the first gaming character to be waxified by Madame Tussauds.
#05 The first PSOne game that required a DualShock controller for it to be played was Sony's own Ape Escape in 1999.
#06 The first time a game described a character as "homosexual" was in 1995. The game was The Orion Conspiracy and the character was Danny McCormack - the murdered son of the game's protagonist, Devlin.
#07 The first coin-operated 'computer' game was created in 1971 by Bill Pitts and Hugh Tuck. It was called Galaxy Game and the only unit ever built was installed at Stanford University in September of that year. Apparently, eager punters would endure a one hour wait just to have a go. Not quite as bad as Tokyo Game Show.