William Higinbotham

William Higinbotham

Infobox Person
name = William Higinbotham

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caption = William Higinbotham
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birth_date = October 25, 1910
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death_date = November 10, 1994
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nationality = American
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known_for = Tennis for Two, Non-proliferation
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William (Willy) A. Higinbotham (October 25, 1910 - November 10, 1994), an American physicist, is credited with creating one of the first computer games, "Tennis for Two". Like "Pong", it is a portrait of a game of tennis or ping-pong, but featured very different game mechanics that have no resemblance to the later game. As the Head of the Instrumentation Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory, he created it on an oscilloscope in 1958, to entertain visitors during visitor days at the national laboratory.

He helped found the nuclear nonproliferation group, Federation of American Scientists, and served as its first chairman and executive secretary. [http://www.fas.org/member/member_history.html Federation of American Scientists :: FAS History ] ]

He earned his undergraduate degree from Williams College in 1932 and continued his studies at Cornell University. During 1941 William went to work on the radar system at MIT till 1943. [http://www.bnl.gov/bnlweb/history/higinbotham.asp The First Video Game ] ] During World War II, he worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory and headed the lab's electronics group in the later years of the war. [http://www.osti.gov/accomplishments/videogame.html Video Games - Did They Begin at Brookhaven ] ]

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. When after his death, requests for information on his game increased, his son William B. Higinbotham wrote, "It is imperative that you include information on his nuclear nonproliferation work. That was what he wanted to be remembered for." Fact|date=April 2007


External links

* [http://www.emuunlim.com/doteaters/play1sta1.htm The Dot Eaters entry] on Higinbotham and his Pong precursor
* [http://www.atarimagazines.com/cva/v1n1/inventedgames.php Who Really Invented The Video Game?] an editorial by John Anderson from CREATIVE COMPUTING VIDEO & ARCADE GAMES VOL. 1, NO. 1 / SPRING 1983.

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