Pong is often seem as ‘the original video game’, and despite its relative simplicity nowadays, was a marvel to behold when it was first produced in 1972, with the game paving the way for the development of video arcades, and the ever-improving home videogame industry, which seems to push boundaries after every release. Who was it that created Pong, who in doing so, also set the path for a home entertainment phenomenon?
The answer is an American computer scientist called Allan Alcorn invented this arcade video game, Atari Inc. (the publishers) releasing it to the mainstream sometime in 1972. Atari founder Nolan Bushnell assigned this task to Alcorn as a training exercise, which was seen as so impressive that it was developed into a game.
According to Bushnell, the main idea behind the game was based on the electronic ping-pong game of the first-ever home videogame console named Magnavox Odyssey. Unlike the game it was based on, Pong would be a major hit, with spin-offs created, and eventually forcing Atari, and new developers, to follow up with new material, resulting with the videogame industry snowballing into what it is today. A true testament to the simple game of Pong, which seemed to start it all, is that it is still played around the world, in arcades, on consoles, or online, and is still recognised as a classic, even with the glitz, glamour, and general ‘desireability’ seen in its modern counterparts.