DescriptionTennis for Two has widely been considered among the first video games, originally cobbled together over a three-week period in 1958 by William Higinbotham and his staff at the Brookhaven National Laboratory's Instrumentation Division to liven up tours. Controlled by a hit-button and an angle-dial, it would allow you to "bounce" a ball, represented by a dot on the oscilloscope screen, off the court floor and over the net, into your opponent's side... where they could volley it back. While the calculation of gravity effects puts it more in keeping with early artillery simulators, in a sense it can be considered a spiritual predecessor to Pong, though unlike the Atari hit, Tennis for Two plays from a side view rather than a top-down one, the primary (though trivial) obstacle being ensuring that the net is cleared.
Since there isn't much demand for MobyGames to support the oscilloscope platform, this entry covers a simulator of the original electronic homebrew. Faithfully reproduced design flaws of the original such as a total lack of scorekeeping and an inability to restart a rally once a ball loses all momentum on the court floor reveal less concern for gameplay and more concern for the documentation and reproduction of an early milestone itself more preoccupied with distracting tourists with electronic novelty rather than with entertaining them for any prolonged period of time. Nonetheless, a few concessions have been made -- some sound effects are included, and a computer AI can be made to hit the ball back at you... or, if you like, you can rally with a friend across the Internet.
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Related Web Sites
- Tennis for Two simulator (Relevant excerpt from an article about the prehistory of video games (and specifically TF2) published in Gamer's Quarter magazine, including links to other articles about it, photographs of the original, and free, legal download of the Tennis for Two simulator for Windows.)
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