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Tennis and Video Games: They Go Way Back, You Know
Saturday, 12/09/2017
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Tennis, as we know it, was born over 150 years ago, in the mid to late 19th century. Until then, many games using rackets and balls were played, but it was then when modern tennis was born, with its specific set of rules, standardized equipment, and so on. Since then, tennis has become a popular sport in all parts of the world, among players of all ages, and is played casually and professionally all over the place. Even on computers - tennis simulators are among the oldest video game types known to man. Actually, the first video game ever created was one called "Tennis for Two", presented in 1958.
 
Since then, tennis and video games have kept a close relationship. No wonder as tennis is a fun game to play even with no actual rackets and balls involved - and it takes considerable skill to master. The range of tennis-inspired games is huge today. Some of them are simpler, casual games. Centre Court is the best mobile slot machine for tennis fans who want just some quick fun on the go. Others are more complex, often stepping outside of the virtual realm and combining reality with simulation for fun and training alike.
 
One of the first decent tennis simulation games was "Match Point", a title released by UK computer company Psion in 1984. After a series of woeful games that tried (and failed) to simulate a proper tennis match, this game was a refreshing change - it was a pretty lifelike simulation of the game for such a primitive computer system (by today's standards, of course). 
 
Later, it was followed by a series of other takes on the sport, some better, others worse. A notable example is "Super Tennis", released on 1991 for the Super Nintendo, which came with many shot types, and a more realistic look and feels than its predecessors. While this was still not a "true" tennis simulator, it came as close to it as possible. 
 
Then, at the turn of the century, a new player came to town: Virtua Tennis. It set a new standard for tennis emulation, even if it first appeared in arcades. The series had seven games, with the latest - 2012's Virtua Tennis Challenge - also making it to smartphones along with consoles. 
 
Then, in the 2000s, virtual tennis became more "real" thanks to the release of Nintendo's Wii console. Players could now truly swing and hit (and sometimes smash their TV screens, too) with a Wii controller resembling a tennis racquet, and really get into the game - all this without leaving home. The game was fun but not just that - it allowed players to refine their moves and test them out before using them on the tennis court in real life. 
 
Even though tennis video games are nowhere near as hyped as others simulating more popular sports, they are an integral part of video game culture - and they are here to stay.


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