Contents page

Index (83KB)


SPACEWAR: n. A space-combat simulation game, inspired by
   E. E. "Doc" Smith's "Lensman" books, in which two spaceships
   duel around a central sun, shooting torpedoes at each other and
   jumping through hyperspace.  This game was first implemented on the
   PDP-1 at MIT in 1960--61.  SPACEWAR aficionados formed the core of
   the early hacker culture at MIT.  Nine years later, a descendant
   of the game motivated Ken Thompson to build, in his spare time on a
   scavenged PDP-7, the operating system that became UNIX.  Less
   than nine years after that, SPACEWAR was commercialized as one of
   the first video games; descendants are still feeping in video
   arcades everywhere.