The paternity of first video game history is not entirely clear. Canadian engineer Josef Kates created in 1950 ‘Bertie the Brain’, a gigantic computer that used vacuum valves and was capable of playing the popular game of tic-tac-toe. Kates designed and manufactured this computer with the intention of introducing during the Canadian National Show that year the thermionic valves he had designed, which were significantly more compact than conventional vacuum valves.
Kates was probably inspired during the development of his invention by the amusement device on a cathode ray tube invented three years earlier by the American physicists Thomas T. Goldsmith and Estle Ray Mann. That amazing machine mimicked a radar screen like those used during World War II and I used an oscilloscope connected to a cathode ray tube to propose to the player to destroy various targets using projectiles. This game had no name, its interactivity was minimal and its graphics were extremely simple, but its purpose was undeniably playful.