Nuclear Fruit: How the Cold War Shaped Video Games

They say knowledge is power and this is seldom more true than in war. Knowing your enemies plans whilst denying them the same privilege is to stack the odds in your favour. As military cryptography advanced in complexity so too did the required effort needed to crack it. In WWII we saw the rise of the Enigma Machine, it’s complexity was such that mere manpower could not solve it within any reasonable time, to crack the code would require a mechanical mind instead. Step in Alan Turing, a brilliant mind known for his pioneering work in the emerging field of computer science. His work in cracking the Enigma Code gave birth to computing as we know it today.

Many of us have grown up with video games but video games grew up during the cold war. This is a story about how the modern age took shape and how new technology and political tension gave rise to the games we play today. From mechanical minds, to the pursuit of other worlds; huge nuclear arsenals and their alarming potential. Video games and war have more in common than you think.

 

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