During the research for my paper, I stumbled over an article that claimed that the father of the video games was William Higinbotham. The article was published on a norwegian site for research papers, forskning.no a view also supported by an article on Wikipedia.org. Quite amazing the setup he used for the game. But that’s not the point, further in my research I stumbled across PONG-Story, a site dedicated to “the inventor of the video game” written by David Winter.

I contaced Winter via mail and asked him for a comment on these articles, read below.

My email to David Winter:

Hi! Checked your site for a paper I am writing for my marketing course on my university in Norway, and would like a comment on something that I found odd. You say that it is Ralph Baer that is the father of the video games, but isn’t it William Higinbotham that made the world first video game? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willy_Higinbotham . Looking forward to a comment from you.

His reply was:


Wikipedia is only a web site with “definitions” more or less true, all written by people like you and me.

To put the record straight: you will always make the difference between digital and analog audio devices although they produce sound. Therefore, you will make the difference between one who invented an analog audio device and the other person who invented the digital equivalent sometime later.

This is same with the video game: one made a computer game, and another created a game which delivered video signals. Both display a game on a screen, but don’t use the same technology. Consequently, Higginbotham’s game did not deliver any video signal and therefore, is not a video game. It was only a precursor.

Crediting Higginbotham as having invented the video game is as absurd as saying that the guy who created the first record invented the compact disc although both media are of the same shape and are made to record and play back sounds. What makes the difference ? The technology.

Same with the video game VS computer games.

Any thoughts on this from my readers?