Wow, is it already the end of the decade? It seems like such a short time that I have been covering the games of the 1970s, though a part of that may have to do with me starting in 1978 and then (much) later going back to fill in the previous games. Whoops. Silly me. Silly, silly 2011 version of me. Well, at any rate we can take a look back now and see what has led us to this point. As we welcome the 1980s let’s appreciate the triumphs and (it is hoped) learn from the failures that came to pass.
It wasn’t the first game ever made, but it has arguably been the most influential. Meet Pong, the first game of the Atari company. Founded by Ampex engineers Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1972, Atari’s name was taken from a move in the game of Go (the loose equivalent of “atari” would be “check” in chess). Bushnell’s and Dabney’s previous game, Computer Space, was a commercial failure, being too difficult and dense for the average gamer to enjoy. Bushnell though that the next big hit would be something just as complex. What happened was the opposite. Read more after the jump.