More pointless video game trivia: Happy 50th!

October 15, 2008

The video game, as we know it (meaning a computer hooked up to a graphical display with a hand-held controller rigged to play games) is celebrating its 50th anniversary. In October 1958, physicist William Higinbotham and engineer Robert Dvorak, wanting to come up with something that would interest the public at an openhouse at the Brookhaven research facility on Long Island, hooked up an analog computer to an oscilliscope and rigged a hand-held controller and created a game they called “Tennis for Two”. The display was a hit, with people crowding around to get a chance at the controls. Higinbotham and Dvorak never pursued the idea beyond a slightly advanced model for the ’59 open house, but they were the fathers of what has evolved into a significant form of modern entertainment and culture. Check out the full story on the CBC site.

And, if you listen carefully, you can probably here the sound of harrysaxon in his lair, feverishly hammering away on his computer keyboard, erecting a digital shrine to two of the elder gods in his personal pantheon.

One comment

  1. OMG, it’s the 50th anniversary?! Tennis for Two still looks surprisingly sweet on the old oscilloscope, I’d totally play it. That was the beginning of something so much bigger that the creators never could have imagined it, something surprisingly common in the technology-related world.

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