1958 video game Tennis for Two Tennis for Two on a DuMont Lab Oscilloscope Type 304-A DesignerWilliam Higinbotham PlatformAnalog computer Release NA: October 18, 1958 GenreSports ModeMultiplayer Tennis for Two is a sports video game that simulates a game of tennis, and was one of the first games developed in the early history of video games. American physicist William Higinbotham designed the game in 1958 for display at the Brookhaven National Laboratory's annual public exhibition after learning
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In 1958, Higinbotham created Tennis for Two to cure the boredom of visitors to Brookhaven National Laboratory. He learned that one of Brookhaven ‘s computers could calculate ballistic missile trajectories and he used this ability to form the game’s foundation. The game was created on a Donner Model 30 analog computer.
Tennis for Two is often regarded as one of the first video games ever created. Developed by William Higginbotham, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, Tennis for Two was completed on October 18, 1958, long before the first commercial video games were ever released. Tennis for Two was released long before Pong (20 years before) was developed, and though it has a similar premise the gameplay is dramatically different and extremely simple.
So how about that master of physics and entertainment, “Wonderful Willie” Higinbotham? There is a solid case to be made that his tennis game, retroactively dubbed Tennis for Two (1958) by historians, marked the first time a video game was created solely to entertain the public. Therefore, he is our first real contender for the title “father of video games.”
So now we turn to the most discussed of all the 1950s computer games: Tennis for Two, designed by Willy Higinbotham and largely built by Robert Dvorak at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in 1958. Unlike the games discussed previously , Tennis for Two was built specifically to entertain the public rather than just to demonstrate the power of a computer or train a group of students, giving it some claim as the first true computer “game” from a philosophical standpoint.
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Tennis for Two was more or less forgotten for some time. In 1964 Sanders Associates received the first patent for a video game. Magnavox bought the patent and produced video game systems beginning in the early 1970s.
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