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'Pong' Turns 40, But It's Not the Oldest Video Game

By Mark Milian and Marcus Chan - 2012-11-16T01:14:36Z

Illustration courtesy Thomas Goldsmith and Estle Mann

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Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device (1947)

About 25 years before "Pong," Thomas Goldsmith and Estle Mann of New Jersey filed a patent for a "cathode-ray tube amusement device." The invention allowed a player to direct a beam on the screen toward a target, such as an airplane. The target, however, was low-tech, consisting of a picture placed on the front of the cathode-ray tube.

Still, the inventors had high aspirations. "The game can be made more spectacular," according to the patent filing, by showing a "visible explosion" when the target is hit.