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Happy 40th Birthday Pong! Still an awesome game to play

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November 29, 2012, 10:47 IST

Sameer Mitha

Happy 40th Birthday Pong! Still an awesome game to play

One of the first video games ever made, Pong turns 40 today. On November 29, 1972, a little company known as Atari released one of the first successful video games of all time – Pong. The game can be considered as the start of the video game industry.

For those of you that don't know, Pong was an arcade game that was later ported to the home consoles. It was a simple concept of tennis where two sticks were present at the opposite ends of a screen and a ball bounced between them.

Here are some fun facts about how Pong came into being. In 1958, a physicist named William Higginbotham (yes, that was his name) created a game called tennis for two. This was during the era when computers were the size of entire rooms so of course not many people knew of its existence. Fast forward to 1966, Ralph Baer (a German-born American video game pioneer, inventor, engineer, known as "The Father of Video Games", who is noted for his many contributions to games and the video game industry) chased a crazy dream of a TV you can play. In 1968, Baer invents and patents a Ping Pong style game and the rest as they say is history.

There have been many versions of the games from arcades in bars to home consoles and even versions of the game made for your smartphone.

Fun Fact: The late Steve Jobs worked for Atari before he founded Apple.

Those of you that are interested in knowing the origin and the story of the legendary game Pong can take a look at this video below.

Six months ago, Atari celebrated its 40th birthday. Although the company isn’t the name it was in the video game industry, we still have memories of a time when Atari made some of the best games in the business. You can read our 40 years of Atari - the rise and fall of the company that gave us Pong here.


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