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Midway Games West, Inc.


Location in 1977:

Atari Inc.
Consumer Division
1195 Borregas Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
United States

Contributed on Dec 24, 2008 by Zeikman (3476)

According to Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, people figured out some creative ways for getting free games on the original Pong machine, which was Atari's first big coin-op hit:

1. If you hit the third bolt down on the left side of the coin mechanism with a billiard ball (or an object of similar mass and hardness), it sometimes caused a harmonic vibration which resulted in a free credit.

2. If you built up a static electrical charge by scuffing your feet on a carpet and then touched the top bolt of the coin mechanism, this too sometimes triggered a free credit. So many people did this that it became known as the "Atari Shuffle".

3. Kids would make casts of quarters using modeling clay, then fill these casts with water and freeze them. They would then extract their "ice quarters" and insert them into the machines, which frequently accepted them - probably due to a short-circuit caused by the moisture from the melting "quarters".

Just a few tricks to keep in mind the next time you're in an establishment with a Pong machine and you happen to be short of change.

Contributed on Nov 04, 2005 by Halmanator (583)

The name "Atari" comes from the Japanese game, "Go". In that game, "Atari" is a word that players say when they have their opponent's piece surrounded. It's meaning is something akin to the word "Check" in the game of Chess.

Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, was very fond of the game "Go". In fact, he still calls it his very favorite game.

Contributed on Oct 30, 2005 by Halmanator (583)