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brookhaven national laboratory

from tennis for two posted in video games by pete_nice

Developed in 1958 by William Higginbotham to entertain bored visitors to the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Tennis for Two is considered one of the first video games ever created.

The game was constructed using an oscilloscope as a display and a Donner Model 30 analog computer as a processor. The players would use an aluminum analog joystick to volley a "tennis ball" back and forth in a profile view of a match (unlike Pong, which was viewed from above).

The game was used only twice (during the Brookhaven open houses), but hundreds of people gathered in line to experience the new form of interaction. Check out this fascinating video of the 1958 recreation.

Higenbotham now has a special collection named for him, the William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection, at Stony Brook University. Their mission is dedicated to "documenting the material culture of screen-based game media."

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