Wednesday is the 40th anniversary of Atari, a company known for putting joysticks into Americans’ hands and consoles into their homes before people had even heard of “video games.”

In 1972, weird cabinets started appearing at bars in California, displaying a rudimentary table tennis game for two players. While Pong quickly became a household name, it was actually built by one of the programmers as a simple test for Atari’s founder, Nolan Bushnell. It was the first commercially successful video game, spawning a line of home consoles sold through Sears, and encouraging Atari to make more games.

SEE ALSO: 15 Developers Help Atari Re-Imagine ‘Pong’

Atari went on to bigger success with i…
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