1951 brought about the likes of Christopher Strachey, a British computer scientist. Christopher was both pioneer and founder, having created programming languages and developing Denotational semantics, which are used to construct mathematical objects (known as denotations) which defines the meaning of expressions from all programming languages. Christopher is also known for designing a computer game, a version of Checkers, known then as Draughts, which ran on the Pilot ACE Computer, one of the first computers built in the UK, located at the National Physical Laboratory, or NPL.
Pictured below is the Pilot Ace Computer. The rotary phone dial, seen in the center of the computer, was used to perform moves within the game.
Another innovation of 1951 was the NIMROD Computer, created by the major UK electrical engineering and equipment firm, Ferranti International. Using it’s panel of various lights for the display, it was created specifically to play NIM. NIM is an ancient, two-player, mathematical game dating back to the 16th Century, where players take turns removing objects from ‘distinct heaps’.
NIMROD could play traditional or reverse forms of the game. Each turn, a player would remove at least one object, and could remove any number of objects provided they all come from the same heap.
To Quote “History of the Video Games“ (http://www.bmigaming.com/videogamehistory.htm)
“NIM is a simple game, where you start with a number of piles of tokens. Each player in turn takes one or more tokens from any one pile, and the game continues until the last token is taken from the last pile.“
The NIMROD Computer was the first instance of a digital computer created to play a specific game.
Pictured below, is the NIMROD Computer, which was demonstrated at a festival in 1951