HALL OF FAME - 18
Pong: The beginning of gaming (Vedran Klarić, Dejan Franković, E-tivity G12-3)
What did computer industry need in its infancy? It needed Pong. Actualy, it needed to be implemented in the second biggest industry in the world - entertainment industry. Why? Because it gave it a boost. Even today, entertainment industry is one of the main reasons why hardware is always advancing.
What is Pong?
Pong is the first game ever made, altough it was not called that, it is now known as Pong. The first version of Pong was played on osciloscope, but since that isn't realy widely used and isn't really a game as much as a modification, we didn't take it into account.
In 1966 Ralph Baer designed a simple computer game displayed over TV set and patented this idea. This game was Pong. In 1970, he presented his patent to Magnavox corporation. They began manufacturing and selling the first video game console called Magnavox Odissey 1TL200. This console came with 28 playable games, some of which include Tennis, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Roulette, Dogfighting etc. They were all "pong-based", i.e. they used the paddle-and-ball principle. The console came with more then 300 accessories including screen overlays (to change the background of the game), paper money, plastic chips etc.
The console itself used different game cartridges which consisted of a printed circuit board which had only jumpers that were used to enable the necessary parts of the machine (ball generator, paddle generators, central line height and location, collision detection). The Odissey had only 40 transistors and 40 diodes. It didn't show scores and was able to produce only black and white picture. Magnavox sold around 200 000 consoles. Altough antique, they are still available for purchase on eBay for up to 50$.
Ralph H. Baer
Ralph H. Baer was born in Germany on 8th March, 1922. Being a jew he was forces to flee to the USA before the World War II. He gratuated from the National Radio Institute as radio service technician. Three years later, in 1943, he was drafted in the army and was assigned to Military Intelligence center in London. Baer gratuated with a Bachelor of science degree in Television Engineering. He invented the Brown Box, the first home video game console, later renamed in Magnavox Odissey. He also created first light gun for home TV use, which was used to play shooting games on Odissey. Baer recieved National Medal of Technology in 2006.
Later, many more complex machines were invented based on the Odisseys design and pong. Even today, pong is still played in many different remakes. But there is nothing like twirling the original controles of Odissey, altough the autors wouldn't know the feeling.