Bertie the Brain


Analog Computer

Ep 1

Gameplay = 1/10

Audio = 0/10

Graphics = 1/10

We finally get to the first game that was actually playable, and its Tic-Tac-Toe.....Bertie the Brain was developed by Canadian engineer Josef Kates mainly as a marketing tool used to show off another invention of his, the additron tube (a computer component) to potential engineers at the 1950 Canadian National Exhibition. After the showing, Kates dismantled the machine and its original workings have been lost. Despite that, I choose to give it a rating anyway. I mean its tic-tac-toe after all, and even back then the hardest difficulty was nearly unbeatable. As long as you have a vague idea of how to play the game and aren't too rash, you're gonna get a draw simulator. As far as my ratings go, Tic-Tac-Toe gets extremely stale after one or two games, especially 


against an AI. You really feel like your either going to get a draw or the computer is going to make a move that makes no sense so you end up winning, which isn't very satisfying. As for sound, there was no sound generated from the machine itself, so an easy 0/10 there. The giant light bulbs I thought would be pretty cool to look at for a awhile, so I gave graphics 1/10 despite the fact that they aren't digital. Finally, while the game was largely forgotten about, it was the first ever game running on a computer. True it didn't have a digital display, and wasn't available to the public for purchase, but it did have a functional AI that could play Tic-Tac-Toe perfectly. It also had multiple difficulty modes and a win screen, the first game to do so. We finally have a playable game that was accessible to the general public. For that reason alone it deserves its place in gaming history, even if its missing some of the features needed in order for me to call it the 'first' video game. - Ben