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 the other side of the court, or fly out of bounds.
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Tennis for Two was first introduced on October 18, 1958, at one of the Lab’s annual visitors’ days. Two people played the electronic tennis game with separate controllers that connected to an analog computer and used an oscilloscope for a screen.
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.
Two boxes each with a dial and a button are the controllers…the dials affect the angle of the ball trajectory and the buttons “hit” the ball back to the other side of the screen. If the player doesn’t curve the ball right it crashes into the net and slowly bounces to a stop in a remarkable model of physics.
Tennis for Two presented a tennis court– shown from the side– on an oscilloscope screen, where handheld controllers allowed the two players to toss the ball to each other. Each controller had two controls: a button and a knob.
Tennis for Two, as it was called it, was played on an oscilloscope and used an electrical charge to show the path of a bouncing ball. “Players served and volleyed using controllers with buttons and rotating dials to control the angle of an invisible tennis racket’s swing.”.
An adaptation of a very ancient sport, the jeu de paume, codified in England in the 1870s, tennis has become a major sport followed by millions of fans throughout the year. Present at the Games from 1896 to 1924, it made its official return to the programme in 1988, and the great Olympic stage has become a key point in the careers of the world’s best tennis players.