ibnlive » Tech

Nov 29, 2012 at 06:23am IST

Pong, the first successful video game, turns 40; play the classic game here

New Delhi: Exactly 40 years ago on November 29, 1972, Atari - the company in which a scruffy, young Steve Jobs worked before he founded Apple - announced the release of what is the first successful video game. It was the success of Pong that triggered the start of the video game industry, which is now bigger than Hollywood.

Although it wasn't the first company to make video games, Atari was the first to make a lasting impression on an entire generation. Today's younger gamers might not remember how Pong, that simple, two-dimensional riff on Ping-Pong, swept across living rooms and arcades in the 1970s. But they might recognise elements of it in easy-to-learn, hard-to-master games based on simple physics.

Pong was in some ways the very first social video game, one designed to play in bars, at home or at an arcade, while spectators crowded around to watch the action.

Launched in 1972 from Atari's Silicon Valley headquarters, Pong featured a basic black-and-white screen (that's black and white only, no shades of grey here), divided by a dotted line. Short white lines on either side stood in for paddles. Two players controlled them and tried to get a moving dot - the ball - past their opponent.

With Pong, Atari introduced video games to the masses just as Apple and Microsoft ushered in the personal computer era by bringing computers to people's desktops in the 1980s.

(With inputs from AP)

On the 40th anniversary of the release of Pong you can relive the Pong experience, albeit on a Web browser, below: