Alumni have developed some cool video games over the years. Here’s a quick rundown and timeline of five that were trailblazers.

1961: Spacewar!
One of the earliest video games for a digital computer created by Steve Russell ’60, SM ’62, EE ’66 and others. Two players tried to shoot each other’s ship while avoiding the deadly sun in the center and its gravitational pull. See some of the game’s source code from the Computer History Museum and learn a little more about Spacewar! in this video created by the Irate Gamer, the first installment of the history of video games.

1977-79: Zork
One of the first interactive fiction computer games, this was a text adventure designed by Tim Anderson ’75, SM ’77; Marc Blank ’75; Bruce Daniels ’71, SM ’74; and Dave Lebling ’71, SM ’73.

1984: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
An interactive fiction game developed by Steven Eric Meretzky ’79 based on the comic book series by Douglas Adams. The game gained a reputation for deviousness for its tricky puzzles. The Babel Fish Dispenser, if not solved, did not kill the player but rendered the remainder of the game unwinnable.

2005 & 2007: Guitar Hero & Rock Band
These instrument-based music games that brought interaction to a new level were developed by Alex Rigopulos ’92, SM ’94 and Eran Egozy ’95, MNG ’95, founders of Harmonix.

2009 (expected): EmotivEPOC
A game currently in beta phase whose action is controlled and influenced by the player’s mind via headset sensors tuned to the brain’s natural electric signals. Kind of like using the force. The company, Emotiv Systems, was cofounded by Allan Snyder EE ’65. Join the Facebook group.

Want to learn more? Check out the follow-up post: Even More Groundbreaking Alumni-Developed Video Games.