Atari co-founder and grandfather of video player Ted Dabney passed away at the age of 81. The electronics engineer was one of the co-creators of Pong and was instrumental in the creation of video-arcade game culture. Dabney was diagnosed with esophageal cancer at the end of 2017 and decided not to undergo treatment.
In 1971, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded a small engineering firm, Syzygy Engineering, which designed and built Computer Space the world's first arcade video game. After this breakthrough, Dabney and Bushnell each invested $ 250 in startup funding in what became Atari Incorporated. They chose the name "atari" from the board game Go which refers to a position in the game in which a group of stones is about to be taken by the opponent (similar to "check" in a (1
Together with engineer Allan Alcorn, Atari developed Pong the first commercially successful arcade video game. Alcorn used Dabney's video circuit concept to create the programming for the game, while Dabney constructed the coin slot mechanism section of the cabinet. Despite the massive success of Pong Dabney left the company in 1973, selling his shares to Bushnell for $ 250,000. Bushnell went on to expand the Atari brand and develop the Pizza Time Theater of Chuck E. Cheese.
In an interview in 2012, Dabney claimed that Bushnell had pushed him out of the company and said, "There are stories that came after that, but that was the end of me with Atari, because it was just … Well, Actually, Nolan had told me that if I was not sold out, he would transfer all assets to another company and would not leave me with anything anyway, so you know, it might as well be sold out. "
Dabney spent the rest his engineering career at Raytheon and Teledyne before deciding to buy and operate a grocery and deli business with his wife. Although Dabney's work was over, he had a huge impact on pop culture and changed our way of playing.
(via Kotaku, image: Sascha Steinbach / Getty Images)
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