World's First Video Game Being Recreated

By Alexander Bevier in Gaming News
Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm
Willie Higinbotham's Tennis for Two was created solely to amuse visitors at a laboratory in Brookhaven. It was dismantled a year later, and Higinbothom wasn't aware that he created one of the earliest video games.

Tennis for Two was created using solid state hardware. In other words, it was developed to be used on a single machine. This has kept the classic from running properly on modern hardware.

But now, the game is now being rebuilt.
Tennis for Two was a simple game. Made out of an oscilloscope, it required players to push a button to launch a beam of light back at the other player's net, like tennis.

A previous recreation of the game was made in honor of Brookhaven's 50th anniversary in 1997. "Although our recreation worked, it had some glitches", says Peter Takacs, a Brookhaven physicist. "Solid-state devices are easily damaged by voltage spikes, and the constant switching of the game's relays caused them to blow out."

The team at Brookhaven have worked hard to locate parts from old Donner Model 3400s; the machine that Tennis for Two was built on. They intend to use these parts in conjuction with the 1997 model to create a perfect working model.

"After the OK from Brookhaven's electrical safety inspector, we will be ready to power up the board and plug it into the Donner operational amplifiers", says Tokacs. "Then we will truly be able to travel back in time."

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