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Issue No.02 - April-June (2011 vol.33)
pp: 96-101
Kristen J. Nyitray , Stony Brook University
<p>William Alfred Higinbotham designed <it>Tennis for Two</it>, the first computer game to display motion and allow interactive control with handheld controllers, to lure visitors over to the display of the instrumentation division for attendees at a Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)visitors' day in 1958. For Higinbotham, this was just an isolated incident in a distinguished career as a physicist and electronics expert. Recruited from MIT in 1945 to work on the Manhattan Project, he developed the timing circuits for the first atomic bomb and witnessed the test detonation in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The following year, he helped found the Federation of Atomic (later, American) Scientists. A passionate advocate of nuclear nonproliferation, he worked tirelessly to educate government officials and the public about adapting atomic energy for peaceful purposes and implementing safeguards on weapons of mass destruction.</p>
history of computing, William Alfred Higinbotham, Tennis for Two, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Manhattan Project, Federation of American Scientists
Kristen J. Nyitray, "William Alfred Higinbotham: Scientist, Activist, and Computer Game Pioneer", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.33, no. 2, pp. 96-101, April-June 2011, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2011.48
1. "The Reminiscences of William A. Higinbotham," interview with P.K. Smith Oral History Research Center, Columbia Univ., 24 Nov. 1980 (transcribed 1998), pp. 1–4.
2. "Response to 1981 History of Nuclear Physics Survey," Am. Inst. of Physics, 1982, p. 1.
3. J.S. Small, The Analogue Alternative: The Electronic Analogue Computer in Britain and the USA, 1930–1975, Routledge, 2001, p. 86.
4. D.A. Mindell, Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computing before Cybernetics, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2002, p. 7.
5. J. Irving, "Good Bode & Project Ostrich," Willy Higinbotham … Accordion to US, compiled by J. Higibotham Schletter in celebration of W.A. Higinbotham's 80th birthday, 1990, p. 87.
6. C. Washburn, and L. Washburn, "W+: The Gluton at the Rad Lab," Willy Higinbotham, p. 82.
7. "Response to 1981 History of Nuclear Physics Survey," p. 2.
8. "The Reminiscences of William A. Higinbotham," pp. 1–11.
9. L. Waller and C. Waller, "Recollections (The Family at the Manse)," Willy Higinbotham, p. 35.
10. H. Kelly, "Comments on the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of FAS," presented at FAS 60th Ann. Symp, at the Nat'l Press Club, 30 Nov. 2005; 01/01comments_on_the_60th_anniversary_ of_the_founding .
11. L. Van Gelder, "From Video Games to Arms Control," New York Times, Long Island Weekly Desk, 7 Aug. 1983, p. 2.
12. D.W. Potter, "Higinbotham/The Tennis Game," Willy Higinbotham, p. 7.
13. "The First Videogame?" video, Brookhaven Nat'l Lab., 21 Oct. 2008; .
14. J. Gettler, "The First Video Game? Before 'Pong,' There Was 'Tennis for Two,'" .
15. Interview with R. Crease historian, Brookhaven Nat'l Lab., 28 June 1991, tape 1, side b, Stony Brook Univ. Libraries, Special Collections.
16. Gettler, "The First Video Game?" p. 2.
17. M.S. Rowe, "Who Really Invented the Video Game? Our Bet's on Willy!" Brookhaven Bulletin, vol. 37 no. 22, 3 June 1983, p. 1.
18. H. Campbell, "What Was The First Computer Game?" blog, 27 Jan. 2009, what_was_ first_computer_game.
19. W.A. Higinbotham, "The Brookhaven − TV Tennis Game," p. 2; HiginNotes.pdf.
20. I. Flatow, They All Laughed… From Lightbulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions that Have Changed Our Lives, HarperCollins, 1992, p. 217.
21. J.P. Indusi, "Willy Higinbotham Stories," Willy Higinbotham, p. 13.
22. Higinbotham, "The Brookhaven − TV Tennis Game," p. 1.
23. H. Lowood, "Videogames in Computer Space: The Complex History of Pong," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 31, no. 3, 2009, p. 5.
24. J. Anderson, "Who Really Invented the First Video Game?" Creative Computing Video and Arcade Games, Oct. 1982, p. 196.
25. Anderson, "Who Really Invented the First Video Game?" p. 190.
26. FAS Public Interest Report, vol. 47, no. 6, 1994.
27. FAS Public Interest Report, vol. 48, no. 1, 1995.
28. T.J. Maier, "To Computer Buffs, Real Originators are Patently Clear," Newsday, part III, business section, 2 Jan. 1989, p. 5.
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