Pong is a table tennis–themed arcade 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.
Pong games was the first commercially successful video game, and it helped to establish the video game industry along with the Magnavox Odyssey. Pong is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., due to its cultural impact.
Pong is a two-dimensional sports game that simulates table tennis. The player controls an in-game paddle by moving it vertically across the left or right side of the screen. They can compete against another player controlling a second paddle on the opposing side. Players use the paddles to hit a ball back and forth. The goal is for each player to reach eleven points before the opponent; points are earned when one fails to return the ball to the other.
Pong was the first game developed by Atari. After producing Computer Space, Bushnell decided to form a company to produce more games by licensing ideas to other companies. The first contract was with Bally Manufacturing Corporation for a driving game.