memory addresses. A compiler can translate a third-generation program into machine lan-
guage. Alternatively, the programming code can be interpreted by an interpreter. There is
also a fourth-generation programming language where the programmer describes the desired
result without specifying how to retrieve it. Database languages, such as SQL, are typical
examples of a fourth-generation programming language.
1.6 Brief History of Computer Games
One of the first computer games was developed in the Brookhaven National Laboratory
in 1958. The name of the game was “Tennis for Two”. A knob was used to define the
trajectory and a button was used for hitting the ball. An oscilloscope was used for displaying
the ball on the screen. A screen shot of the game is shown in Figure 1.4.
FIGURE 1.4: The game Tennis for Two. The screen shot is taken from a video made by
the Brookhaven National Laboratory, a United States Government laboratory.
Later on, in 1971, the game Spacewar! was introduced. It is considered to be one of the
first commercial games. It is a two-player game. Each player has control of a spaceship and
attempts to destroy the other player. One thousand and five hundred coin-operated game
consoles were created and placed in malls throughout the United States. See Figure 1.5 for
a screen shot.
One year later, in 1972, the game Pong was introduced to the general public. It is widely
believed to be the first mass video game and 19,000 consoles were sold. The game is played
by two players. It has a moving ball and players try to keep the ball inside the playing area
using a paddle. A screen shot of the game is shown in Figure 1.6.
One of the first color games was Space Invaders and it was produced by Atari in 1978.
It involves defending the Earth from alien invaders by shooting rockets at them.