Ted Dabney, the Atari arcade games co-founder, has died at 81, having been diagnosed with esophageal cancer in late 2017. He was the brain behind the seminal video game Pong.
Dabney, who was born in San Francisco, had opted against treatment after he was told he had about eight months to live, according to the website Eurogamer on Saturday. His death was confirmed by historian Leonard Herman on Facebook.
Dabney started Atari predecessor Syzygy with Nolan Bushnell and developed Computer Space, the world's first commercially available arcade video game in 1971, Eurogamer said. The following year, the pair co-founded Atari, and Computer Space was used for the basis of the video game Pong, which helped explode the video game industry in the 1980s and made the company its early-days millions.
HuffPost said Dabney designed the Computer Space circuit technology that was transferred into Pong.
Dabney went on to work at Fujitsu, Raytheon, and Teledyne. He and his wife later moved to the Sierra Nevada mountains, where they owned and operated a small grocery store.
Engadget said Dabney discovered his love for electronics while serving in the Marine Corps and his technology skills at jobs at Bank of America and HP after leaving the military. He met Bushnell in 1969 when both worked for American Express, where Dabney gained early experience in display technology.
Many remembered Dabney on social media.
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