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Ever wonder what a physical version of Pong would look like? Well wonder no longer, because some guy has decided to take it upon himself to build the world's first real-life Pong machine.
Now before you start saying something like, “Pong in the real world would just be table tennis,” I'm talking about a one-to-one physical representation of the video game boasting nothing more than a couple of flat white paddles and a square “ball” bouncing back and forth between them.
Recreating that experience in a physical space is actually a lot more complicated than you might think. Thankfully, you don't need to think too hard about it, as all of the work has already been done to figure the whole thing out. The folks over at Engadget stumbled across a little something called “Pong Project,” which is Daniel Perdomo's attempt to turn the granddaddy of video games into a real-world gaming cabinet.
As Perdomo explains in the description for this Pong machine, his project is an homage to the first video game; one that is still being recreated in some form or another to this very day.
The video begins with some rad concept clips showing off how the machine will come together. You couldn't just throw a square cube onto an air hockey table and call it good. The “puck” in Pong never rotates, remember, calling for some clever use of magnets in the physical version of the game.
From there, we get to see Perdomo working on the paddle controls, the scoreboard and more. Next comes the construction, which was clearly a long and detailed process.
In the end, we get to see the whole thing in action, and it actually works as advertised. That's pretty impressive work on the part of Perdomo, from coming up with ways to make the game work properly to putting together a table that actually looks like it would feel right at home in an arcade.
Usually when we see clever versions of video games in the real world, we end up with folks reenacting scenes from games like Smash Bros. or Uncharted 4. There are even groups who put an extra fun spin on these kinds of projects, recreating Metal Gear Solid V as a Wes Anderson film, for instance.
When I first heard about “real life Pong,” I half expected a trio of yahoos in goofy white costumes running around on a soccer field. I'd say Perdomo's project is decidedly more impressive than my own concept for the Pong Project. If nothing else, his idea certainly took a lot more creativity and patience to pull together.