last updated November 28th, 2001
and is permanently morphing...
(6 Cauac (Storm Cloud) - 17 Ceh (Red) - 188.8.131.52.19)
conceptual creator of Pong
Atari (the name is equivalent to check in the Japanese game go) is founded by Utah-born computer games inventor Nolan Bushnell, 27, and a friend with an investment of $250 each to manufacture and market "Pong"- the first commercial video-arcade game. Beside it is a dark wood cabinet holding a black-and-white cathode-ray screen and the instruction, "Avoid missing ball for high score." Drop in a quarter, the machine "serves" a ball automatically from one side of the screen, a white blip darts about the screen, and the player uses controls to hit the blip with his ball. Bolting a coin box to the outside, Bushnell installs the game in Andy Capp's tavern, a Sunnyvale, Calif. pool bar, in the fall. He takes consulting jobs with electronics firms to raise money, persuades a local bank to give him a $50,000 line of credit, puts together a team of techies who work 12 to 16 hours a day assembling Pong machines (using Motorola TVs) while listening to Rolling Stone and Led Zeppelin records, and sells about 10 machines per day, mostly to distributors who handle pinball machines and jukeboxes. He will find a venture capitalist to back him and will sell 6,000 "Pong" games at more than $1,000 each.
the game itself was designed by Al Alcorn.
Bushnell also lost a court case agains the creator of the Odyssey home videogame system, which featured a Pong-like game.
Like most famous techies, he was an excellent
marketing person, as opposed to an innovator.