Chapter 2

Games as Experiments (1912–1977)

Electronic Computers and Games

Engineers of the 1930s and 1940s from Germany, England, and the United States independently developed electromechanical and electronic computing devices capable of performing a variety of mathematical calculations and problem-solving functions.* Early machines such as the American-built Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) and English Colossus computers calculated firing tables for artillery and deciphered encrypted messages, operations driven by the military needs of World War II. These mid-century behemoths weighed several tons, occupied entire rooms, and utilized physical switches or vacuum tubes to denote the binary computer logic states of “on” and ...

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