When I was a small boy, long before the Internet or HD or even CDs. Way back when having a personal computer in your home was unaffordable I used to love playing games with my friends. We’d play at being Spacemen, Cowboys and Indians, Knights and anything else we can make up and play in the garden or park. Then one of my friends got an Atari VCS and Pong was the greatest thing I’d ever seen!
Here was a game that we could play together on the couch and we were equals. His speed was not an advantage as it was normally in the park nor my size a disadvantage when playing hide and seek. This was a game in which we could compete on level terms and just look at those graphics! OK, so the graphics are rubbish by today’s standards but we were 7!
The premise was simple, each player had a bat (solid line of pixels) and had to hit the ball (square of pixels) past the other player. The ball could also be bounced off the walls to try and get around the player. The more times the ball was hit the faster it got.
The whole thing was controlled by a simple up/down movement on the joystick or, if you were lucky enough to have the paddle controllers, you could rotate the controller (like a dimmer switch) to move the bat.
This was the game that got me into gaming. Does it stand up well with current games? Of course not, it came out 45 years ago! But for my 7 year old self in 1978 it was amazing!