Since the beginning of videogame history, sports have always played a major role. Higinbotham’s Tennis For Two, Baer’s video table tennis, and Bushnell & Dabney’s Pong are also video versions of tennis or table tennis. But no matter how much you tell yourself that these videogames are sports, it’s a hard sell. However, if you add a special controller that simulates something from an actual sport, the game takes on a new dimension and makes the game much more interactive. Let’s look at several of these peripherals for video sport games.
There have been sports peripher- als for videogames even before the first videogame console was released in 1972. To enhance the console prototype known as the Brown Box, the father of home videogames, Ralph Baer, also developed two sports-related peripherals for his invention. One was a “Golf Putter”, which was a real golf ball mounted on the end of a joystick. This would be placed on the floor, and then tapped with an actual putter that would cause the on-screen “ball” to move into an on-screen “hole”.
The Golf Putter never made it to the production phase, but Baer’s other prototype peripheral did. This was a light rifle that allowed to player to shoot targets on the screen. And isn’t target shooting a sport? And if you turn those targets into animals, you’ll have the sport known as hunting.
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