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Fascinating facts about the invention
of the first video game by William Higinbotham in 1958.

VIDEO GAME
AT A GLANCE:
As the Head of the Instrumentation Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Willy Higinbotham, invented the world's first video game to entertain visitors to the Brookhaven National Laboratory. He is said to have expressed regret that he would more likely be famous for his invention of a game than for his work on nuclear non-proliferation
THE STORY
RELATED INFO
Invention: Tennis for Two Video Game in 1958
NO
IMAGE
AVAILABLE
Function: noun / precursor to Pong
Definition: Believed to be the world's first computer video game. It was created on an oscilloscope to entertain visitors during visitor days at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Patent: Never patented. Developed while a government employee.
Inventor: William Alfred Higinbotham  a.k.a. Willy Higinbotham
William Higinbotham photo courtesy Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Criteria: First to invent.
Birth: October 25, 1910
Death: November 10, 1994
Nationality: American
Milestones:
1958 William Higinbotham invents a "Tennis" computer game-type at the Brookhaven National Labs
1968 Ralph Baer has a working prototype of the "Brown Box" finished.
1971 Baer files patent application on March 22 for TV Gaming Apparatus
1972 Magnavox licensed the Brown Box and markets it under the name Magnavox Odyssey
1972 Nolan Bushnell invents Pong game for arcades
1974 Atari, Bushnell's company, introduces the home version of Pong through Sears retail stores
1975 Nintendo's first venture in gaming was as the distributor of the Magnavox Odyssey in Japan
The Story:

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
William Higinbotham Biography   from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of Magnavox Odyssey   from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of Pong   from The Great Idea Finder
Computing History   from The Great Idea Finder
History of Toys and Games   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE SCREEN:
Video Games: Behind the Fun
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / History Channel / Less than $25.00
First there was Pong. Then came Asteroids, and Pac Man, and Nintendo. At every stage of their development, Video games have pushed the limits of computing power.

 

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Reference Sources in BOLD Type. This page revised January 16, 2007.
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