November 29 - 1972 - Atari Releases Pong
Pong was not the first video game, nor even the first one released as an arcade game, but it was the first widespread success. Before Pong, video games were for computer geeks and almost nobody else. Pong, however, was an ingeniously simple game, featuring knobs that controlled two little bars that served as paddles and the players had to use to return a ball. So Pong was a social game anyone could play in a time before personal computers were available to the public. It would become insanely popular, with a devotion that would seem to belie a game with such simplistic gameplay. It would also help launch more arcade video games and even lead Atari to launch the first successful home video game console.