In the beginning was the game, and the game was Pong

Forty years ago last week the first arcade video game was commercially launched by AtariPong was formally announced on November 29th, 1972, with shipments beginning the following month.  The game’s primitive interface – two joystick-controlled bars bouncing a ‘ball’ of light between them, as in a table-tennis match – was something new in terms of the technology of the day, and proved very popular.

Today, of course, it seems laughably primitive . . . but I can remember playing Pong way back when, and enjoying it.  It was a different and much simpler world back then;  no personal computers, no cellphones (let alone smart phones), no generally accessible Internet, and so on.

If you were born too late for Pong, or just want to relive old memories, there are several free online versions available.  Pick one and have primitive fun!



  1. Now, Atari has come out with their new game consul. Sold in Rite Aid stores, It has two wireless stick controllers with the two buttons plus it has installed 75 of the old games that one cost 20.00 a unit to buy. The price is around 39 dollars. However you can hook it up to the TV's we now have and not just to analog CRT TV's.

  2. According to the article I read I know not where, the simplicity of the game was actually an intentional feature. The first arcade video game Computer Space had a learning curve that was too steep — Pong could be played by anyone after a little observation

  3. Godfather's Pizza (original version) had tables for two with Pong in them. Good times were had and many quarters squandered.


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