From the collection of Pong creator Allan Alcorn

Allan Alcorn revolutionized the video game industry in the 1970s as the creator of Pong, the first popular video arcade game. Alcorn was hired as Atari''s third employee?after co-founders Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney?and put to work on a simple ping-pong game, which began as a training exercise. After a few months and a few tweaks, Alcorn had the game up and running?and it was actually fun to play! They deployed their coin-op prototype at the local tavern, Andy Capp''s, and soon it was so stuffed with quarters that it stopped working. With proof of concept demonstrated, Atari was able to start mass producing arcade cabinets?and Pong swept the nation.

Alcorn''s contributions to the fledgling tech industry did not stop there. He went on to help develop the home video game market by bringing an affordable, miniaturized version of Pong to market?this one using an innovative microchip instead of hard-wired electronics?and was the first to hire a college dropout hippy named Steve Jobs as an electronics technician. He would serve as a mentor to Jobs in Apple''s earliest days, introducing him to influential venture capitalists and providing Apple with computer chips at cost.

After leaving Atari in 1981, Alcorn became involved in several Silicon Valley startups in industries ranging from digital mapping and in-car navigation to multimedia slot machines. He joined Apple as a fellow in 1986, where he nurtured the development of QuickTime and the MPEG video compression standard.