Samuel F. Dabney passes

| June 5, 2018

Bobo sends us a link to the sad news that Samuel F. Dabney has passed because of that bitch cancer at the age of 81. He created the vintage video game “Pong” and he is credited with the founding of modern video gaming.

Dabney, who went by the nickname, Ted, was born in San Francisco in 1937 and served in the Marines from 1955 to 1959. He attended the Navy’s electronics school on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay and quickly began applying his talents as an electrical engineer.

In 1971, Dabney teamed up with Nolan Bushnell, a charismatic engineer and a colleague of Dabney’s at the time, to create the company, Atari. With just a few early employees and a bare-bones workspace, Dabney soon made a breakthrough innovation that laid the groundwork for the arcade machines still seen in bars and game rooms today.

Using pieces of plywood and fake mahogany paneling, Dabney created the first Atari console in his daughter’s bedroom.

Category: We Remember

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  1. crucible says:

    Badass-I had no idea a Marine helped create the original video game craze. (My family had a Pong in the 70’s, and I later went on to be a part of the first generation of video game kids getting as many quarters as I could and riding my bike to local arcades.)

    Semper Fi Mr. Dabney!

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      You and me both. When I was a kid in the 70s and 80s, off I went to play video games as soon as I had even a couple of quarters! Remember the advent of video arcades and how quickly they became THE hangout place?

    • FuzeVT says:

      Ditto to all!

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    Pong. It was my first experience at doing nothing and feeling good about it. It was just a little black & white screen and it was incredibly fascinating.

    Life was simpler then. Gas cost far less than $2.00. Movies were $6.50. TV was sill 4 channels and maybe some day cable, which seemed to offer some real creative stuff. That’s gone now. I found a CTA bus token in an old pocket wallet and wondered if I could get my money back for it. Nah!

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  3. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    We had the pong game when it came out next to the Rockolla Juke box at the Central Inn bar in Valley Stream Long Island NY where I hung out many moons ago.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      I still remember when Space Invaders and Atari’s “Asteroids” were the hot new games!

  4. Carlton G. Long says:

    RIP, thank you for your service, and thank you for PONG.

  5. Sparks says:

    Rest in peace Sir.

  6. George V says:

    And here I thought “Atari” was a Japanese company! The things we learn at TAH!

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Dabney. In Heaven, no quarters required to play.

    • Private Parts says:

      If you want to know something even spookier, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak both got their start at Atari before moving on to found Apple.

  7. desert says:

    Thanks for your service, rest in peace! As for Pong, I thought it was a waste of time!