The Backhand

Video of the Week

Stuart Barefoot

How many of you are video game fans? Whether it's all of you or just a few, this should be an interesting series of videos. This week we will explore the evolution of tennis video games. 
After some (mildly) extensive research, the earliest footage we could find is from a 1981 game called Activision Tennis. It was made for Atari, which if you ask any cyber nerds they would say it is as obsolete as a horse and buggy. For those of us who enjoy looking back at things retrospectively, it's kind of cool.
Four years later Nintendo released a game simply called "Tennis." How long did that marketing meeting last? 
"Hey Johnson did you come up with a name for that new tennis game like I asked you to?"
"Ummm uhhh yeah boss, it's uhh....... Tennis"
"I like it! Now we need really bad elevator music to go along with it."
"I'm on it"
Six years later in 1991, Nintendo improved their graphics, sounds and game presentation in general. They did not, however, improve their ability to name video games. When they came out with Super Nintendo, you can guess what they called their tennis game, right? Super Tennis!
By 1999 there was a generation of kids who grew up on video games their whole lives. It was a generation that came to expect, if not demand advancements in their gaming systems. By the end of the 20th century games had improved drastically, as evidenced by this footage of the 1999 "All Star Tennis" for Nintendo 64 (again, not very creative with the naming.)
When Wii came out in 2006, it took the world by storm. Everyone loved it. It was a product that every age group could enjoy. Whether it was a child less than two years old, or a group of senior citizens, it was something everyone could embrace. Interactive video games were definitely a big hit.
Now in the year 2012 there is only a small difference between popping a game in your XBOX 360 and watching a live tennis match on your HD television. Even for a generation influenced heavily by the information age, the newest innovations in video games are simply amazing.

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