[[caption-width-right:220:The Grandpappy of Video Games.]]

->''"Avoid missing ball for high score."''
-->-- The complete directions for the original arcade game.

''Pong'' is a 1972 video game, the first one released by Creator/{{Atari}}. You control a paddle that goes along one line in the classic version, up and down. Your opponent has another paddle. You bounce a square ball against the paddle. If your opponent misses, you get a point. If you miss, your opponent gets a point. First to reach 21 wins.

Can be played [[PlayerVersusPlayer PvP]] or against a computer AI (the original arcade machine, however, was [=PvP=] only).

In more detail: ''Pong'', developed by Nolan Bushnell (who would later create the Creator/ChuckECheese franchise[[note]]Oh, [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and some company called]] Creator/{{Atari}}[[/note]]), is one of the oldest video games. It dates from 1972, making it OlderThanTheNES. The company that was founded to publish it, Atari, became synonymous with video games for years afterwards. It was also packed with many first-generation consoles, and Atari made a separate console that only played the game.

''Pong'' is often thought of as "the first video game ever", [[OlderThanTheyThink but this is untrue]] for one, the UsefulNotes/MagnavoxOdyssey debuted earlier in 1972 (and had been in development since 1968). Not to mention VideoGame/ComputerSpace, also created by Bushnell, debuted a year earlier. Before that, it gets pretty complicated and still challenged due to varying opinions of what constitutes a VideoGame the very first is either ''VideoGame/{{Spacewar}}'' (1962), ''VideoGame/TennisForTwo'' (1958), ''VideoGame/{{OXO}}'' (1952), or the ''VideoGame/CathodeRayTubeAmusementDevice'' (1947). It was, however, the game that started the video game industry.

Everything aside, ''Pong'' was the [[TropeCodifier first game to be successful enough]] for people outside the (then '''extremely''' small) geek culture to know about its existence. And for those of you wondering, the Atari logo is two people playing tennis, a reference to their flagship game.

!!''Pong'' provides examples of:

* CompilationRerelease: ''VideoGame/VideoOlympics'' for the UsefulNotes/{{Atari 2600}} is the oldest example in video game history, being one of the 2600's nine launch titles in 1977. It includes ''Pong'', ''Super Pong'', ''Pong Doubles'', and ''Quadrapong'', along with a few other of Atari's early arcade games.
* NoPlotNoProblem: There is nothing here even resembling a plot, but the game still got popular. Though this hasn't stopped a few devoted fans from making their own [[http://www.fanfiction.net/game/Pong/ Pong fanfiction]].
* PlayerVersusPlayer
* ProductFacelift: Magnavox made a bunch of their own variations of Pong consoles, such as the Magnavox Odyssey 4000.
* ScoringPoints
* {{Sequel}}: Received one by the name of ''Pong: The Next Level'' for the [=PC=] and original Playstation with 20 stages, each containing three variations, adding [=3D=] graphics, environmental hazards, and power-ups to the gameplay. It features a one-player adventure mode and multiplayer for up to 4 players. Naturally, it has the original game as an EmbeddedPrecursor.
* StoryToGameplayRatio: Possibly the lowest out of any game ever made.
* TopDownView: ''Pong'' is basically top-view tennis.