First Video Game…..Name It If You Can

By  | March 13, 2018 | Filed under: Interesting Facts, News

Willy Higinbotham

Before the era of electronic ping pong, hungry yellow dots, plumbers, mushrooms, and fire-flowers, people waited in line to play video games at roller-skating rinks, arcades, and other hangouts. More than fifty years ago, before either arcades or home video games, visitors waited in line at Brookhaven National Laboratory to play “Tennis for Two,” an electronic tennis game that is unquestionably a forerunner of the modern video game.

The first video game was invented by Willy Higinbotham. Willy was no t42_04teenage computer wizkid, however. In the early 1940s he worked on advanced radar displays for B28 bombers and went on to work for the Manhattan Project where he designed the timing mechanism for the first atomic bomb. In 1958, bored by the displays of the Brookhaven National Labs annual open-day exhibition, Willy designed a tennis game simulation, the world’s first video game. It was called Tennis For Two. Willy did not take out a patent but even if he had the royalties would have been paid to the US government.


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