Computer Space

Computer Space is the world’s first commercial video arcade game. Based on the early mainframe computer game Spacewar!, this one-player shooting contest pits a player-controlled rocket ship against computer-controlled flying saucers.

The game uses no microprocessor or memory – all game logic and display is achieved by employing a state-machine design consisting of logic gates and diodes. An off-the-shelf GE 15-inch black-and-white television was factory-modified for use as the video display and a metal paint-thinner can serves as the coin bucket. The game was conceived by Nolan Bushnell and designed by Ted Dabney.

Computer Space was manufactured in a futuristic-styled fiberglass cabinet in several colors: red, blue, yellow, and green. A one-of-a-kind white model appears in the 1973 science-fiction film Soylent Green. It is estimated that Nutting Associates produced 1300-1500 units in total, as the game was not a commercial success.

The game in my collection is red and is serial number 10116. It includes the original paint thinner can and was acquired in southern California.