While virtual reality, omnidirectional treadmills, and escape rooms are trying to make games “real”, they’re all missing the mark in their own way. But “Pong Project”, an effort to make Pong into a physical game, could be right on the money.
Information regarding the awesome build is scarce; all we can find at the moment is a Facebook fan page and a YouTube video which we’ll embed below.
From the little that tells us, this version of Pong appears to be made real by a motorised mechanism that lets the “ball” move freely in the X and Y axes. The real trick here is the impressive programming that went into those motors to make a physical object behave like the moving ball from the game.
But in reality, it’s not a ball at all – the paddle and ball are actually magnets. Below what looks like the surface of the playing field, the actual machinery moved by the motors terminate in magnets, the paddle and ball attached to them and you get a cool effect where the three objects seem to be real-life floating pixels.
According to the video’s description, this was built by Daniel Perdomo, Alvaro Salsamendi and Constantino Voulgaris with it being hosted on Perdomo’s YouTube channel.
With what looks to be a working prototype, the team is looking for “a hardware incubator to make it a reality”, but honestly we’re not entirely sure what they hope to achieve with this. If they’re seeking to start a business they’ll need permission from owner Atari, or they’ll need to change the name and make changes to legally separate it from that game.
Regardless, this is a really cool project and we’d love to play it without building our own. We assume it costs a lot more to play than a handful of arcade tokens.