Pong Pings into AAMA’s Industry Hall of Fame


Released in 1972, the famous Atari game created by Al Alcorn – Pong – has made it into the second class of the Amusement Industry Hall of Fame. The game was inducted at the recent Amusement Expo in Las Vegas. Pong is often credited as the game that gave birth to the video arcade industry itself.

Pong - old brochure

The table tennis simulator was wildly successful and went on to have home versions and all sorts of offshoots. It’s also a part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Ted Dabney, Nolan Bushnell, Fred Marincic and Al Alcorn together with a Pong machine.

An original flyer for the game notes its “realistic sounds of ball bouncing and paddle striking” and boasted its “proven high profits in location after location.”

AAMA executive VP Pete Gustafson said at the induction that: “The simple ball and paddle game wasn’t much fun, so Al added a progressive speed-up code, and a bit of English off the paddle to make it more challenging. Nolan [Bushnell] decided to make a very simple cabinet for the prototype and put it on location to see if anybody would play it.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

RePlay’s Key Snodgress, who coincidentally wore her Pong shirt on the trade show floor that day, was tapped to accept the award.

Key Snodgress with Al Alcorn at the Atari 50 event in 2022.

Editor’s Note: RePlay will continue to spotlight Amusement Industry Hall of Fame inductees from the 2024 class in our upcoming newsletters and in the print magazine’s May issue.


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