You may be surprised to learn that basic video games have been around since 1947—during that year, Goldsmith and Mann created a missile simulator game inspired by WWII missile displays. The classic game controlled a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) beam that appeared as a dot on the screen. Spacewar!, a multiplayer game programmed by MIT students in 1962, is widely considered to be the first influential game. The 1970s was dominated by Oregon Trail and Pong, two games that may have been a part of your childhood. Oregon Trail, developed by three student teachers at Carleton College in Minnesota, is used as a teaching tool. Pong is an astonishingly simple game that offers players a surprisingly dramatic experience. The game involves two paddles, a dotted line for a net, a dot for a ball—all in black and white.

The 1980s was a truly glorious and legendary decade for video game enthusiasts. Developed by Namco and designed by Toru Iwatani, Pac-Man would become one of the most influential video games of all time. Pac-Man fever swept the nation in the 1980s, primarily because it was a game that appealed to both boys and girls as well as adults. The decade also witnessed the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the first successful 8-bit machine. The flagship game of the Nintendo platform is Super Mario Brothers—the game that went on to define “platforming.”

To learn more about the evolution of video games—from 1947 to today—check out the awesome infographic by National Geographic. What is your favorite video game listed in the infographic? Please share in the comments!