Mr William A Higinbotam.

Tennis.

1958.

 

 

 

 

Even though Mr Bare,   back in  1951,  was the first who imagined the possibility of using the TV set other  than for seeing broadcasts; the very first  "  Video game  " experiment was don by this man, William A Higinbotam, and you can people search among gamers who have played his game but don't know this scientist had anything to do with video games. In 1958 when working at  Brookhaven National Laboratoryon a US nuclear research lab in Upton, New York Mr Higinbotham use a small analog computer in the lab to graph and display the trajectory of a moving ball on an oscilloscope, with which users can interact.

 

 

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This is a paper writen by Mr Fredric D. Schwartz for Invention  & Technology magazine in 1990 explaning the work Mr Higinbotam made in the -50:s ( the paper is signd by Mr Higinbotam himself ). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is the very first " video game " experiment. The oscilloscope is on the middle with the two controllers facing it.
The analog Donner computer is on the right.
Photo courtesy of
Brookhaven National Laboratory, New-Upton, York, USA.

 

 

 

 

 

The screen display was a side view of a tennis court. It looked like an upside-down " T ", with a shortened stem. This was the " net ". Each player held a prototypical paddle, a small box with a knob and button on it. The knob controlled the angle of the player's return, and the button chose the moment of the hit. A player could hit the ball at any time, providing it was on his side of the net. Gravity, windspeed, and bounce were all portrayed. For example, if you hit a ball into the net, it would bounce lower than a bounce off the " ground ", and would eventually die.

 

 

 

The game appears for the 1959 open-house, and modifications include a larger monitor to display the action, and changeable gravity settings to show what it would be like to play tennis on another planet. After this final appearance, the system is then dismantled and its components put to other uses. Willy doesn't market or copyright his invention, thinking the idea so obvious as to be not worth pursuing.