R16: Spacewar in Logo

  • Due Nov 9, 2018 at 2:39pm
  • Points 3
  • Questions 3
  • Available until Dec 10, 2018 at 10am
  • Time Limit None


Spacewar! was an early influential videogame. You can look a few moments of gameplay in this modern recording of the 1962 original. No surprise, the game was created by students mis/using expensive university computing resources.

Read this recent article in Paleotronic, a magazine focused on electronics, computing, and videogame history. In particular, study the full-resolution image at the top of the article. In computing past, it was common for people to find small programs in magazines and type them into their computer to get a playable game. There was no internet from which you could download them otherwise.

Many magazines distributed games in the form of BASIC programs (a programming language targeted at beginner programmers -- Adam's first programming language too), but this article breaks that pattern to offer a game written in Logo (the turtle graphics language you've previous read about). While the original Spacewar! was written in an assembly language, the Logo version is small enough to fit into two pages of somewhat readable code.

The Logo language has procedures that work similar to methods in Java -- they have parameters and contain steps that either accomplish drawing task or update the value of variables.

Are you about to try this reading on your own? Make sure you talk with someone else from class about the answers before you save them. They might spot a pattern in the code that you didn't.

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