I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time with this game, but then you sure could lose a lot of time to it...

Source // Wikipedia

I can't recall the first time I came across Pong. I think these days Pong just appears in peoples memories. "Have I played Pong? I must have played Pong. Sure, yeah, Pong."

It's Pong. Two paddles and a lot of blip bloops. Pong.


With so many versions and variations, trying to play Pong without any bells and whistles can be a challenge. I played a couple of versions online, notably over at Pong-Story and Pong Game, and while each gave me the vibe of Pong, neither were quite Pong. They were Pong-y, maybe really Pong-y, but it's like they're always being compared to Plato's perfect form of Pong.

Out there, somewhere, in the early 70s, is the ideal Pong, the perfect Pong. The Pong that all other Pong-wannabe's want to be. But to truly play that Pong, you needed to be there, in the 70s, standing in front of a fuzzy monitor playing against your mates.

Fond Memories

That doesn't mean you can't ever enjoy Pong, or the countless games that have used it as inspiration in the decades since - Curveball, anyone? That was a go-to web game to pass the time during school lunches back in the day. It's 'just' Pong, but curvier, with a different perspective, and in three dimensions, but we play it and we enjoy it, because just like the ideal form of Pong, we know how to play it in seconds.

Final Word

It's so easy to play and it's found in so many forms that you can't really be too critical of it. You can only really argue over your personal Pong preferences - this version is too floaty, or that version isn't responsive enough, or that you shouldn't play it with this input device, you should play it with that one...

It's Pong. If you rearrange the letters, you get goud, and that's all we're asking from our games, isn't it?

Fun Facts

Created as a warm up exercise to get used to making video games, Pong was such a success that its first technical issue was a result of the prototype arcade cabinet installed in a local bar overflowing with quarters.

Pong, developed by Atari Inc., first released in 1972.
Versions played: 1972 Atari PONG simulator, via Pong-Story (browser emulation)
Pong Game, via Ponggame.org (Adobe Flash)
Curveball, via Curveball-game.com (Adobe Flash)