There is a Pong in the house
So Playstation 3 is going on sale.
But how many of you remember the most addictive game ever?
Pong was introduced in the 70’s and was revolutionary. It was revolutionary for one simple reason – it was the first video game you could play on your own television.
A friend of mine got one in the mid 70’s and we literally used to spend hours playing this. You plugged it into the back of the telly and into the mains, and each of us had a small yoke with a little knob on [sounds like Bertie Ahern!].
We would then sit on the floor, transfixed at the little ball bouncing around the screen as we waggled the paddles to try and hit it.
With hindsight of course, it could not have been simpler. Compared to modern video games it was the pea-shooter to the nuclear missile. But it was the first time anyone could interact with their own television. Nobody nowadays could possibly understand the wonder of that. You are so used to computers, and machines that think, and graphics that are almost lifelike, that you could not imagine a time when these things didn’t exist. But it isn’t that long ago.
Of course any modern games enthusiast would sneer at it now. After all, you can’t kill anyone in the game. And that seems to be the pre-requisite of most modern games. The more violence, the better. And it was in black and white.
But we relaxed with the game because it was slow. It was simple. You didn’t need twelve fingers on each hand to control it. We weren’t sitting waiting frantically for Pong V 2.0 to come out. We had no idea of the future crazy world where people would go into a frenzy to spend €600 on a games machine.
Ah! The good old days!
LOL Grandad – Pong was great… I also like Frogger (the one where the frog has to get accross the road) and Pacman! Good times!
I have no idea what you are talking about!
Was I alive then?
Did I live in this world?
There’s another new games console out too, where the game pads are motion sensitive. You get to stand up and take a real swing at your virtual tennis ball. Apparently they’ve had a couple of claims in already from people who keep whacking their hands off the coffee table. D’oh.
Your desire to annihalate is just as strong as everyone else’s by the way. I’ve seen you trying to crash into buildings with your flight simulator. Terrorist.
@Deborah – You’re giving away your age!!! 😉
and you forgot the original Breakout.
@Grannymar – It would have been before your time.
@Offspring – I’ve heard about those. I suppose you at least get some exercise…
And as for Flight Simulator – I haven’t played that in years. And if I crashed into a building, it was due to keyboard trouble. You’re trying to get me into trouble with George W again. Aren’t you, you little b****!
I remember it well! We spent many an hour at a small “sports games console” thingy a long time ago. Pure entertainment.
I haven’t been writing much lately. That foul four lettered word WORK sometimes gets in the way of blogging.
Good memories you evoke. Yes the pong game! I can still hear the simple sounds in my ear. It was originally in arcades and then you could buy console for your TV as you say.
I also got addicted to a slightly later arcade game called Galaxians (around the time of Space Invaders – 1979/1980 ish). I actually bought software of Galaxians a few years ago again as part of an oldie but goldie arcade collection for the PC. It’s still addictive. At least I’m not putting money into an arcade machine as I was originally!
As for Flight Simulator – I was crashing into skyscrapers long before 9/11.
Best thing about the old Pong was that, once you got any way handy at it, you could actually do quite a few other things at the same time. It was a bit like knowing the angles on a snooker table, but more predictable.
Pong! (nip out and put the kettle on…) Ping! (quick trip to the jacks…) Pong! (pour the tea and leave it to draw…) Ping! (pull curtains and put the cat out…) Pong! (and so on…)
I tried to play some bloody Playstation game with my kids the other day and my average ‘life’ lasted about 3.4 seconds. The only part of it that was fun was watching them laughing their arses off at me.
Needless to say, I took the console away, slapped them all soundly and put them to bed. Cheeky little feckers!
Is it just me, or were the old games more fun?
Nowadays they are all fast action, blood and guts and rowdy. And I imagine you’d need a book of instructions the size of War and Peace to get the hang of ’em.
Somewhere I have a Spectrum Emulator and the entire library of games ever produced for it. I must look it up sometime.
As for Flight Simulator, one of my tricks was to try to fly my Cessna between the Twin Towers at low level [before or after flying under the Hudson Bridge]. Offspring caught me on an off day. I didn’t sell on the idea. Honest!!
Yes, I agree. I think a simpler structure to games is important. Just because we can make complex games doesn’t mean they are more entertaining. Although nice graphics can give a useful look.
My bit of fun on FS was flying under the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco – and I seem to recall it was just about possible to land on it too.
Ah yes – the old under the GG Bridge trick!! I never tried landing on it though. I did nearly manage to land a 747 on the aircraft carrier though!!!
There was a documentary a few years ago on how many people in USA were so addicted to flight simularor programs that they had adapted rooms for it with better control lines etc.
They get so absorbed in it that they forget everything around them….
“Come down for your dinner, George.”
“Jesus, I’m trying to land this motherf*cker with 300 passengers in Tokyo airport at night in a force 9 gale! I can’t think of food!”
I had a friend like that. He had the whole works – joysticks, foot pedals, the lot. He decided to upgrade his FS one time and found he had a load of software that wasn’t compatible, and would I like it?!
I said yes, and he arrived with four crates of boxes – cloud generators, aircraft generators, airport generators, localised area details, navigation aids and so on and so on. I couldn’t believe it.
I haven’t seen him in a while. Maybe he managed to get the whole lot to fly?