18 June 1996

Pong found

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.arcade.collecting as "Pong found & help needed."]

Well, I'm *this* (| |) far away from being able to join VAPS. Today I finally bought a copy of Atari's Pong. (I figured I'd start at the beginning. 8)

I collect Atari 2600 cartridges. This is the only extent to which my finances have allowed me to collect video games. (Otherwise, I'd have a house full of coin-ops.) When looking at a local thrift store, I saw Pong standing there. I looked closer, and it said "Atari" and "Syzygy Engineered" on it. Wow, an original Pong! It was $40 and the electronics guy said it worked. I didn't have the money right then, knew my wife would kill me if I just brought it home, and didn't have a way of getting it home by myself anyway.

That evening I discussed it with my wife and we (okay, she) decided I could get it if the money didn't come out of the bank accounts. (This was incentive for me to finally sell my old computer.) A week and a bit later, the computer was sold, but I hadn't cleared out a space for the coin-op yet. Monday evening, she asked if I'd bought it yet and I said no, but took that as a go ahead. 8)

Today I went back to buy it with a coworker to help. We started to look around, and discovered they'd removed the TV and taken the cabinet outside! Aiiigghh! It didn't look like it had been outside long enough to get rained on, thank goodness. Unfortunately, one of the paddle knobs, which I'd noticed had been loose before, was

I went inside and talked to the people there (and found out their electronics guy was "no longer with them"). They said they'd tested it and it didn't work. Further discussion revealed that the TV didn't work. We went back and examined it. We came to the conclusion that it didn't seem to be missing any pieces, it was just empty because there wasn't much to it. I got it for $25 and we hauled it home.

[VAPS is the Video Arcade Preservation Society. It was a group of people owning arcade video games at home. They established a web site in the early days of the Internet. Being able to join it seemed like a big and unattainable honor at the time.

This post was originally made to ask a bunch of questions of coin-op collectors about my new acquisition. For the sake of the blog, I've edited them out. —11 June 2009]