I was five years old when I first saw the Atari Pong arcade machine in 1975. My father and I were in the basement of the Sear’s store outside of downtown San Jose. Like many department stores in the area at that time, the return desk was in the basement. We waited while my mother returned something.
My father reached into his pocket, pulled out a quarter, and dropped it into the coin slot. The black-and-white game started after a moment. We each turned a knob to control a paddle that bounced the ball across the screen. I don’t recall what the final score was when the game ended. No doubt that my father won since his hand-eye coordination was better than a five-year-old.
I wouldn’t play another arcade machine until the early 1980s.
NOTE: Check out the longer version of this blog post.