Test Your Nerd Knowledge: July 12, 2022

Here’s a review of this week’s questions:

  1. Ten years before the Game Boy was introduced, Milton Bradley introduced the first handheld gaming console. What was it called?
  2. What was the name of the 1983 film that starred Matthew Broderick as a young computer gamer who hacks into the computers controlling the U.S. government nuclear arsenal?
  3. This popular web platform was born as an idea hatched by Chad Hurley and his friends at a dinner party in San Francisco in 2004. What is its name?

And here are the answers:

  1. Microvision. Game developer Jay Smith invented Microvision in 1979, and later, the Vectrex gaming console system. Neither were hugely successful, but the technology utilized helped pave the way for future devices like the Game Boy (1989), Atari’s Lynx (1989) and Sega’s Game Gear system (1991). Smith’s Microvision, though first in the marketplace, struggled to gain popularity due to its small screen and small number of available game cartridges. Its production ceased in 1981, but Microvision led the charge toward handheld gaming, something you probably wish you were doing on your mobile phone right now!
  2. “WarGames.” Described by rottentomatoes.com as, “part delightfully tense techno-thriller, part refreshingly unpatronizing teen drama, WarGames is one of the more inventive — and genuinely suspenseful — Cold War movies of the 1980s.” Matthew Broderick’s teenaged character, David, unwittingly hacks into a military supercomputer while searching for new video games, and starts a game of “Global Thermonuclear War,” which the government’s supercomputer interprets as a Soviet missile attack. David and his girlfriend, played by Ally Sheedy, then go on the run to try to stop the onset of World War III. The movie was a blockbuster in the summer of ’83, generating $125 million for a movie that cost $12 million to create.
  3. YouTube. YouTube was officially founded on Valentine’s Day in 2005. It was the brainchild of Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all former employees of PayPal. The platform, like so many others in Silicon Valley, began as an angel-funded enterprise with makeshift offices in a garage. Originally created as a platform for anyone to post any video content they desired, it was hoped that users could use the site to upload, share, and view content without restriction. It has since grown to become one of the foremost video distribution sites in the world. Today, many content creators make a decent living by selling ad space before or on videos they create and upload onto the site. The company now employs 124,000 people and is worth over $14 billion.