What was the video game machine 'Nimatron' that appeared in 1939?

There are many historical games such as Tetris, Mario Bros., and Minecraft, but these video games also have ancestors. Introduced in 1939, Nimatron is a pioneer in computer games that was born in an era when the concept of video games did not exist yet.

The Nimatron --JSTOR Daily


The 1939 and 1940 New York Expo was held to commemorate the 150th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration, with the theme 'Building and Peace in the World of Tomorrow.' While the pavilions of governments and local governments from all over the world such as Japan, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of China are lined up, Westinghouse Electric, which was a major American general electronics manufacturer at the time, exhibited 'Nimatron'.

Nimatron was the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from 1945 to 1951, and the genius physicist Edward Condon, who became chairman of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) from 1953, just months at the New York World's Fair. A game machine that is said to have been devised before. At the time, Condon was in charge of various projects at Westinghouse Electric, such as microwave technology, high-voltage electricity, and mass spectrometry, but one day many of the staff working for him were ' Nim ' at lunch. I notice that I am playing the game. Nim is a kind of math game played by two people, and it is a game in which you take coins from multiple piles of coins and the last coin is the winner.

And the one that turned this Nim into a computer game was Nimatron, which was unveiled at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The Nimatron chassis is 8 feet (2.4 meters) long and weighs 1 ton, and it is said that 116 relays and 2 miles (3.2 km) of copper wire were used for the wiring. The actual play screen is a 4 column x 7 row light bulb, and the player and Nimatron alternately repeat the act of 'selecting one or more light bulbs from a certain column and turning it off' to turn off the last light bulb. It was a rule that the one who set it to wins.

At the Westinghouse Electric exhibition, there is also an event where the player who defeated Nimatron can receive a commemorative coin called 'Nimchamp', and it is said that the match between the visitors and Nimtron reached about 100,000 games. However, it is said that Nimtron was too strong in terms of victory and defeat, and it is said that most of the winners were Sakura prepared by Westinghouse Electric.

Nimatron has a different lineage from modern video games, but is considered one of the ancestors of computer games.

in Game, Posted by darkhorse_log