Peter Takacs, a physicist in Brookhaven Lab's Instrumentation Division, has written a blog about how a group of scientists and engineers recreated the Tennis for Two game for Brookhaven's 50th birthday celebration using the original circuit schematics.
The original was designed more than a half-century ago, Brookhaven Lab nuclear physicist Willy Higinbotham who wanted to “liven up the place” with an experiment in entertainment. At BNL's annual open day in 1958, Higinbotham created what is often credited as the world's first video game. Hundreds waited in line for a chance to play “Tennis for Two,” an interactive game made from an analog computer, two chunky controllers, and an oscilloscope screen just five inches in diameter.
The visitors, some of the world's first gamers, saw a two-dimensional, side view of a tennis court on the oscilloscope screen. They served and volleyed using controllers with buttons and rotating dials to control the angle of an invisible tennis racquet's swing.
Never patented, Tennis for Two was dismantled about a year after its debut. Now the game has been rebuilt and the engineers have been tracking down vintage components and subassemblies and recreated a working model.
Brookhaven National Laboratory is a multipurpose research laboratory funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. It has almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff who are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world.
To see more, including videos on the comeback of Tennis for Two see:
Resurrecting One of the World's 1st Video Games .