Pong.Mythos, pong as paradigm


The marketing of Pong is one of the few true turning points from the industrial to the digital era. The first mass videogame is one of the absolute pop icons, and it has written the first definitive paradigm of playful interactivity with a screen through a few lines and a couple offigures for the score. The ‘pong effect’, or the instant involvement with the machine’s activity has propagated during the years with multiple and crossed references, and it has been put in a historical context in the exhibition opened February 11th at the Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stoccarda, not by accident entitled Pong.Mythos. The exhibition development is an attempt to link up the thousands of repercussions of the original model in works of art and collective perception. Thus amongst the twenty-four different works has been included the mandatory Pongmechanik and Blinkenlights with also a Sonic Pong prototype and BallDroppings, that in this way pay their inspirational tribute. The gratification’s loop obtained by the machine mediated game (or played against it), is the foundation of every videogame, and here it is clearly condensed in its essential alphabet. The attempt of recognizing and contextualizing it is made by the curator Andreas Lange, able also to schedule another two exhibition’s stages in Leipzig and Berna.