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Classic Games (Games) Entertainment Games

Anatomy of the First Video Game, Born 1958 137

afabbro writes "Fifty years ago, before 'Pong' and 'Space Invaders,' a nuclear physicist created 'Tennis for Two,' a 2-D tennis game that some say was the first video game ever. Built in 1958, it was 'gynormous.' 'In addition to the oscilloscope screen and the controller, the guts of the original game were contained in an analog computer, which is "about as big as a microwave oven."' 'We have to load it into the back of a station wagon to move it. It's not a Game Boy that you put in your pocket.'"
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Anatomy of the First Video Game, Born 1958

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  • Not the first (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 4D6963 ( 933028 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @07:51PM (#25490931)
    "It wasn't the first video game" post in 3.. 2.. 1..
  • by middlemen ( 765373 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @08:00PM (#25491037) Homepage
    That error came about because the editor probably hasn't had access to a vagyna in a long time...
  • by FridgeFreezer ( 1352537 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @08:34PM (#25491399)

    Depends how anal you want to be - you could write code that would put out the relevant signals from a soundcard using 3 channels - one for X, one for Y, one for Z (brightness), or perhaps add another channel and run dual-trace with the second one generating the net along the bottom. A standard old dual trace scope for £50 from eBay would be fine for the display.

  • by Orion Blastar ( 457579 ) <orionblastar@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @10:51PM (#25492655) Homepage Journal

    because an oscilloscope screen is not the same as a video screen. It is the first oscilloscope game, but not the first video game.

    A video screen is like a TV set or Monitor, an oscilloscope screen is something quite different. It shows waves not pixels. Video games have pixels. Even vector video games still use pixels and not waves. It is like saying that a curved line is the same thing as a square or dot, or that a screwdriver is the same thing as a hammer. While they may have things in common, they are not quite the same thing.

    Sorry to nitpick.

  • Re:Gynormous? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by emandres ( 857332 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:42PM (#25493121)
    Actually, "gynormous" is the way they spelled it in TFA. Blame MSNBC.
  • by Casandro ( 751346 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @12:35AM (#25493581)

    It'S not a video game, it has nothing to do with video. It's just an analog computer game, that's all. No video involved. And computer games are in fact probably even older, even digital ones.

  • by Kirth Gersen ( 603793 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:13AM (#25495847)


    I'm not sure if today's games could inspire kids in the simple way that old game did for me. The skills and techniques involved in a modern rendered game are so far beyond the grasp of the average kid, the inspiration might be lost, requiring too great a leap to "get it."

    I read a sf story about 25 years ago about a human expedition to a planet with a humanoid civilization at a roughly mediaeval level. They identified a native scientist who was on the brink of discovering Newtonian mechanics, and became highly concerned that if he observed any of their post-Newtonian gadgetry it would make him doubt his whole line of research.

    Children's games used to embody mechanical principles by necessity. Now, computer games link action and effect by completely arbitrary rules. We are teaching children to inhabit an entirely magical world.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle