Tennis for Two was first shown on October 18, 1958. The game was rendered as a horizontal line, representing the tennis court, and a short vertical line in the center, representing the tennis net. The first player would press the button on their controller to send the ball, a point of light, over the net, and it would either hit the net, reach ...
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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.”
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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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Two people played the electronic tennis game with separate controllers that connected to an analog computer and used an oscilloscope for a screen. The game's creator, William Higinbotham, was a physicist who lobbied for nuclear nonproliferation as the first chair of the Federation of American Scientists.