Pong At 40 - Still A Player
Written by Ian Elliot   
Friday, 30 November 2012

Atari announced the video game Pong on November 29, 1972. It quickly became the craze responsible for success of the Atari and the inexorable rise of the microcomputer. To celebrate its 40th anniversary we have a "classic" version you can play.

 

bushnellpong

 

Pong, invented by Nolan Bushnell and Al Alcorn, was the first computer game. Initially it was implemented in hardware and the first Pong machine was installed in a bar - where it was such a draw that people came just to play it.

With the advent of cheap microprocessor Pong made the transition from arcade game to small games console and then to a software version not only for the Atari but with versions for other microcomputers.

 

 

If you fancy programming your own version JavaScript Pong is a complete project that is also a good introduction to handling graphics in JavaScript. We also have a skeleton version using Python's GUI, Tkinter. Pong is such a good way to demo 2D graphics that we are never going to stop programming it!

But if you just want to play the game for a nostalgia trip or to remember just how primitive computer games were 40 years ago, click the link to Play Classic Pong. The program starts running as soon as you loaded the page and all you need to know to play the game are  that the A and Z keys move the left bat and the K and M keys move the right bat. The game is over when either side gets to nine. You can also download the code for this demo and customize it to bring it into the 21st century.

Atari is celebrating Pong's 40th birthday with the launch of Pong World - a free iOs game which can be seen in this promo video:

 

Pong World has been developed by zGames, the $50,000 grand prize winner of the Pong Indie Developer Challenge. According to Atari, Pong World is:

a reimagined take on the pop culture classic and the first-ever official new PONG game for smartphones and tablet devices.
In the game, players choose one of many Pong paddles and battle against opponents on various themed boards, experiencing the game in either classic mode or all-new gameplay modes including Blitz and Hotseat.

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