I have very little background on electronic design.
After studying a bit on how pseudo-random number generators work on general purpose computers, I became curious on how old hand-held games (like the Mattel Electronics series) randomized the events occurring in the game. As far as I know, many of them didn't utilize microprocessors at all.
Did they occupy a pseudo-random number algorithm implemented with basic electronic components, or are there ways of producing random-like numbers with basic electronic components? If such ways exist, why are they not available on our general purpose computers?
The main reason for my question stems from the need to seed the random number generator. Those primitive handheld games didn't seem to have a clock or something that could act as a seed (or perhaps they had a seeding counter running even if the game was turned off but connected to the battery?)