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Rediscover one of the classics of early computer game history! Spacewar! is a fast-paced space combat game that pits two players against each other as starship captains fighting a battle of wits, photon torpedoes, and gravitational physics. Players maneuver their ships through space, trying to pick off their opponent with the perfect torpedo barrage, whilst taking care not be sucked into a nearby star and burnt to a crisp.

Developed by MIT students in 1962, Spacewar! was one of the earliest computer games and its simple controls and compelling, action-oriented gameplay still hold up today. The original game was developed for the classic PDP-1 computer by a team of MIT developers including Steve "Slug" Russell, Martin "Shag" Graetz, Wayne Wiitanen, and Peter Samson. Their solid game design proved extremely popular and the game has been ported to other systems and improved upon by fans ever since.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Spacewar!, the MIT Game Lab has developed its own port, 'Spacewarduino' designed to capture the fun and hacker aesthetic of the original game. Our version is developed for an Arduino microcontroller with a Gameduino adapter for graphics display and custom game controllers, modeled after the original control boxes made for the PDP-1.


Spacewarduino! has been tested on computers with the configurations listed below.



Philip Tan Product Owner

Kaivan Wadia Programmer

Owen Macindoe Programmer

Joey Rafidi Hardware Engineer

Alec Thomson Additional Documentation

Press Inquiries

For press inquiries, contact Rik Eberhardt:


Macindoe, Owen. “Digital Archaeology: Investigating the Spacewar! Source.” Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. 21.October.2011.

Macindoe, Owen. “The Night Sky in Spacewar!.” Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. 3.November.2011.

Macindoe, Owen. “Reconstructing the Vector Graphics in Spacewar!.” Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. 17.November.2011.

Tan, Philip. “The Peculiar Spacewar!.” Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. 6.February.2012.

Fierro, Generoso. “Video: Spacewar! Turns 50: MIT Celebrates Its First Computer Game at the MIT Museum.” Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. 13.March.2012.