The Games of Joseph Weisbecker

Photo of Joseph Weisbecker's "Bits and Spaces" game prototype; photo courtesy of The College of New Jersey, reproduced here by permission.

The inventor of the COSMAC architecture, Joseph Weisbecker, had a seemingly boundless enthusiasm for computing. It showed not only in the microprocessor line he created and promoted for RCA, but in the variety of logic puzzles and games he designed to teach and entertain. These are now showcased in a new exhibition at The College of New Jersey, Playing With Innovation: The Games of Joseph Weisbecker.” 

According to curator Florencia Pierri, who organized the exhibition, “it's centered around the paper-and-plastic games that Weisbecker made when he wasn't busy working at RCA. The exhibit focuses on the computer-centric games he and others created, and their place in the history of computing.”

While many of us have seen Think-A-Dot before, some of these games exist only as prototypes and were never commercially available. The online exhibit is nicely organized; click on any game’s picture to get more details on the artifact. The exhibit concludes with some of Weisbecker’s early computer prototypes, including an 1801-based FRED 2 that Herb Johnson has thoroughly detailed on his website. (Herb is also acknowledged as a contributor to this exhibition.)

If you’re in the New Jersey area and would like to visit the exhibition in person, you can find details here.

© Dave Ruske 2001-2018, except where noted