Computer Software Achievement Timeline, 1960-75



  • Edsger W. Dijkstra and Jaap A. Zonneveld produce the first (X1) implementation of the ALGOL 60 programming language.
  • John McCarthy of MIT publishes LISP, the second-oldest programming language in widespread use today behind only Fortran, developed by IBM in 1957. LISP became a program of choice for the development of artificial intelligence applications.
  • IBM programmer John Burgeson develops first computer baseball simulation.


  • Raytheon Corporation creates global Cold War conflict simulation for American Joint Chiefs; recreated as a more accessible analog version called Grand Strategy.


  • Spacewar! created by MIT student Steve Russell


  • The computer language, BASIC, developed at Dartmouth College.
  • US Defense Department completes STAGE (Simulation of Total Atomic Global Exchange), a computer war game that showed the US winning the Cold War


  • John George Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz run the first program created in BASIC (Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), an easy to learn high level programming language that will eventually be included on many computers and even some games consoles.
  • PL/I(Programming Language I), a block-structured computer language, is created by George Radin while at IBM.


  • A day after Dartmouth beats Princeton in the Ivy League football championship a Dartmouth undergraduate programs the first computer football game !¬†
  • Niklaus Wirth develops the dynamically-typed programming language, Euler.


  • Martin Richards¬†designs the BCPL programming language.
  • Ralph H. Baer of defense contractor Sanders Associates predicts TV gaming


  • Baer creates Brown Box prototype, and patents an interactive TV game the following year.






  • Scientific American publishes a cell-simulation math game called LIFE.


  • The Oregon Trail western expansion (Missouri to the Willamette Valley) game is created by Carleton college students using the BASIC computer language and distributed by the Minnesota Educational Computer Consortium; the game is still played and popular


  • The first commercial home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, is released. Nolan Bushnell and Al Alcorn of the Atari Corporation release PONG, an arcade table tennis game.


  • Computer magazine publisher David Ahl writes 101 BASIC Computer Games, including HMRABI where players command ancient Sumerian kings !¬†


  • Maze Wars uses wire-frame graphics to simulate 3D environments, creating a labyrinth of passages in the first-ever first-person shooter game


  • William Gates and Paul Allen form a company in Albuquerque called Micro Soft to develop and sell BASIC interpreter software for the Altair 8800.
  • Atari releases its home version of PONG; with no partners in the toy business, Nolan Bushnell sells the console through the Sears Roebuck sporting goods department


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