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arcade game

Atari manufactured its first video game, Pong, in 1972. The video table tennis game was a starter project for young Atari engineer Al Alcorn. While maintaining the simplicity of the idea, Alcorn added a degree of complexity by allowing the paddles to direct the ball at angles and increasing the ball acceleration after a designated period of time. The infamous "pong" sound of the game is simply an amplified sound made by the functioning of the circuitry board. After a highly successful test-run at a tavern near the Atari headquarters, Pong went into production. Atari sold every unit they built. The uncomplicated nature of the game made it more appealing to the masses than the mentally-demanding Computer Space. A white square dot for a ball and white lines for paddles are set against a black background. Players simply have to "Avoid missing ball for high score." The idea for Atari's Pong was likely influenced by a table tennis game played on the Magnavox Odyssey home video game system. After Magnavox sued for copyright infringement, Atari settled out of court and became the only official licensee of the tennis-style games. Many more Pong clones appeared, but none were as popular as the original." The success of Pong allowed for Atari and the video game industry to develop into a profitable business venture supported by the interest of the masses. With Pong, the video game industry evolved from a sub-culture of computer labs and universities and into the domain of popular culture.

  • Material: plastic | metal | glass | wood
  • Origin: USA
  • Style: arcade game
  • Object ID: 109.17106
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