General Science, Mathematics, and Technology


What was the first successful video-arcade game?

Pong, a simple electronic version of a tennis game, was the first successful video-arcade game. Although it was first marketed in 1972, Pong was actually invented 14 years earlier in 1958 by William Higinbotham (1910–1994), who, at the time, headed instrumentation design at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Invented to amuse visitors touring the laboratory, the game was so popular that visitors would stand in line for hours to play it. Higinbotham dismantled the system two years later, and, considering it a trifle, did not patent it. In 1972, Atari released Pong, an arcade version of Higinbotham’s game, and Magnavox released Odyssey, a version that could be played on home televisions.


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