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|Born||William A. Higinbotham
October 25, 1910
|Died||November 10, 1994
|Cause of death||Emphysema|
|Known for||Non-proliferation, Tennis for Two|
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 different game mechanics that have very little 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 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 until 1943. 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.
Higinbotham 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."
In 2011, Stony Brook University founded the William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection, managed by Head of Special Collections and University Archives Kristen Nyitray and Associate Professor of Digital Cultural Studies Raiford Guins. The Collection is explicitly dedicated to "documenting the material culture of screen-based game media", and in specific relation to Higinbotham: "collecting and preserving the texts, ephemera, and artifacts that document the history and work of early game innovator and Brookhaven National Laboratory scientist William A. Higinbotham, who in 1958 invented the first interactive analog computer game, Tennis for Two." As part of preserving the history of Tennis for Two, the Collection is producing a documentary on the history of the game and its current reconstruction by Peter Takacs, physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory. 
- "Federation of American Scientists :: FAS History". Fas.org. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "The First Video Game". Bnl.gov. 1958-10-18. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "Video Games - Did They Begin at Brookhaven?". Osti.gov. 2011-01-21. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "Journal of Nuclear Materials Management: A History". Retrieved 2011-04-03.[dead link]
- Chaplin, Heather; Ruby, Aaron (2005). SMARTBOMB. Algonquin Books. p. 36. ISBN 1-56512-346-8. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection at Stony Brook University". Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- "Mission & Goals of the William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection". Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- "News: William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection : June 17, 2011". Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- The Dot Eaters entry on Higinbotham and his Pong precursor
- Who Really Invented The Video Game? an editorial by John Anderson from CREATIVE COMPUTING VIDEO & ARCADE GAMES VOL. 1, NO. 1 / SPRING 1983.
- The Institute of Nuclear Materials Management.
- InventorWilliam Higinbotham Biography.
- William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection at Stony Brook University.
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