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Meaning of SPACEWAR

Computing Dictionary

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 commercialised as one of the first video games; descendants are still feeping in video arcades everywhere.

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