On this Day:
In 1972, the co-founder of Atari, Nolan Bushnell released Pong, which was the 1st commercially successful video game, in Andy Capp’s Tavern in Sunnyvale, California.
Pong is a table tennis–themed arcade sports video game, featuring simple two-dimensional graphics, manufactured by Atari and originally released in 1972. It was one of the earliest arcade video games; it was created by Allan Alcorn as a training exercise assigned to him by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, but Bushnell and Atari co-founder Ted Dabney were surprised by the quality of Alcorn’s work and decided to manufacture the game. Bushnell based the game’s concept on an electronic ping-pong game included in the Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game console. In response, Magnavox later sued Atari for patent infringement.
Pong was the first commercially successful video game, and it helped to establish the video game industry along with the Magnavox Odyssey. Soon after its release, several companies began producing games that closely mimicked its gameplay. Eventually, Atari’s competitors released new types of video games that deviated from Pong’s original format to varying degrees, and this, in turn, led Atari to encourage its staff to move beyond Pong and produce more innovative games themselves.
Atari released several sequels to Pong that built upon the original’s gameplay by adding new features. During the 1975 Christmas season, Atari released a home version of Pong exclusively through Sears retail stores. The home version was also a commercial success and led to numerous clones. The game was remade on numerous home and portable platforms following its release. Pong is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., due to its cultural impact.
First, a Story:
When Pong the video game was first invented, few people realized how popular they’d become. It’s a classic case of unNintendoed consequences.
Second, a Song:
Fabricio André Bernard Di Paolo is a Brazilian YouTube star who is famous for his Vinheteiro channel on YouTube. He is widely known as Lord Vinheteiro. He has earned more than 6 million subscribers and over 827 million views there for his original piano and sound edited covers of popular songs, including “Super Mario World on Piano with Sounds Effects.”
One of his YouTube channel’s most popular videos, “Starwars, The Imperial March on Piano ( Darth Vader’s Theme ),” has amassed more than 5.5 million views. He runs his own Lord Music Academy school teaching classical piano (per https://www.famousbirthdays.com/people/fabricio-andre-bernard-di-paolo.html)
Here is Vinheteiro performing his transcriptions of the Evolution of Video Game Music 1980 – 2018. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“Just think of the opportunities we can unlock by making education as addictive as a video game. This type of experiential, addictive learning improves decision-making skills and increases the processing speed and spatial skills of the brain. When was the last time your child asked for help with a video game?” – Naveen Jain
If you have a hankering to go back in time and replay Pong, go to: https://www.ponggame.org/
Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky