RETROGAMING - WHY 88/89? P1- TENNIS FOR TWO ANYONE?

Posted by Seven Squared on

Believe it or not a 60 year video gaming cycle, as we see it, started in 1958/9, so starting in the middle of that timeline (88/89), seemed to be as good as any to begin #KeepingTheGameAlive.

The ability to tell the story of video games and how certain games and experiences connect to that journey is ever so cool.

For sure, there will not be too many franchise memories in the 30 years prior compared to the latter 30, but we like it.

Also, we knew that picking on 88/89 meant there would be enough of you online understanding what we were doing here and why.

Yes, Tennis for Two was a notable milestone in video games that really does connect to what we have today. Why?

Well, some suggest that it was the first game created solely for entertainment rather than as a technology demonstration or a research tool! (Source Wikipedia).

The program simulated a game of Tennis and was created by American physicist William Higginbotham for visitors at the Brookhaven National Laboratory to be more entertaining for visitors on their public day than the usual static exhibits about nuclear power.

The game ran on a Donner Model 30 and displayed a side view of a tennis court on an oscilloscope.

The players controlled the angle of their shots with attached controllers, and the game calculated and simulated the trajectory of the ball, including the possibility of hitting the net. So, no Pong was not first.

The game was first shown on October 18, 1958. Hundreds of visitors lined up to play the new game during its debut.

Due to the game's popularity, an upgraded version was shown the following year, with enhancements including a larger screen and different levels of simulated gravity.

Afterwards, having served its purpose, sadly the game was dismantled for its component parts. While the game had no innovations in game design or technological development, its status as an entertainment-focused game, rather than an academic project or technological showpiece, has led it to be considered one of the first "real" video games as they are generally thought of today.

In fact, if you go to the source page (Wikipedia), you will even see a video of the game recreated for its 25th Anniversary!

It is a must watch if you have never seen it.

Chills!

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