On October 19, 1972, about two dozen people crammed into a poorly lit room at Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory to watch a handful of students play video games.
Some came for the free beer. Others came to catch a glimpse of history—the first-ever "Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics"—which was being recorded by Rolling Stone reporter Stewart Brand and photojournalist Annie Leibovitz.
The students were playing Spacewar!, a video game created a decade earlier by MIT student Steve Russell, which features two ships, "the needle" and "the wedge," locked in a dogfight as they circle a gravity well.
When it was all over, Bruce Baumgart was declared the winner of the free-for-all competition. Two other students claimed the team competition. The prize? A year-long subscription to Rolling Stone.
The Spacewar! showdown at Stanford is considered the first-ever video game competition.