William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection at Stony Brook University

The William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection contributes directly to the study of video games as popular culture and to their historical longevity. It invests in and is dedicated to:

  • 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;
  • documenting the material culture of electronic screen-based game media.

In addition to game hardware and software, game-related ephemera is collected, which consists of: video and computer game magazines; game catalogs; strategy guides; game boxes and cases; game instruction manuals; video and arcade game promotional materials; game memorabilia; photographs of arcades; and original publications on video game history and culture.

William A. Higinbotham

William A. HiginbothamAfter reading an instruction manual that accompanied a Donner Scientific Company analog computer, William Alfred Higinbotham was inspired to design Tennis for Two, the first computer game to utilize handheld controllers and to display motion. It was also the first game to be played by general public, in this instance, attendees of “visitors day” at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in 1958. Learn More »

Tennis for Two