“Pong was an unusual video game...The [arcade] game had no instructions, nothing, and yet it was a big success. There had been nothing like it.”
- Allan Alcorn / Designer of Pong
The third official employee at Atari, right after the founders Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, Allan "Al" Alcorn has cemented his place in the history of video games as the designer of the arcade smash hit Pong.
Alcorn met the duo when they all worked for the Video File department of Ampex Data Systems at the turn of the 1970s. The future video game engineer started at Ampex first as part of a six-month paid internship program for the University of California and went back full-time after graduating.
By that time Bushnell had already left to work with video games. He had founded the company Syzygy, which would later become Atari. Bushnell had not forgotten the clever Ampex intern and lured Alcorn to join him and Dabny. The rest, as they say, is video games history.