The use of computers as an entertainment platform began almost as soon as the first computer was built. Games such as checkers, chess, and tic-tac-toe were popular in the 1950s and 60s, though these programs played at a rudimentary level on expensive mainframes.

Specialized research machines with excellent graphics capabilities such as the MIT TX-0 (1958) or the DEC PDP-1 (1961) had programs written for them, most famously SpaceWar! for the PDP-1, the pre-cursor to the popular arcade game Asteroids.

It was combination of groundbreaking computer graphics research at several universities that laid the technical foundations for motion graphics while the increasingly-powerful microprocessor allowed for custom graphics hardware. Some of the most powerful commercially-available computers today are game platforms, embedding supercomputer-like performance in a package and to an extent scarcely believable even a decade ago.