If you ever play me in Pong, you will win. Atari’s simple 1972 game is like Dark Souls-level hard to me; I’ve no idea how anyone can react that fast. But, finally, there might be a version of the game with a screen wide enough that I’d have time to respond. It’s currently located in the UK in a pretty neat and unique museum. Lucky for the rest of us that don’t live there, we can watch it work on the internet.
This Museum Is (Not) Obsolete is a museum in Ramsgate, UK dedicated to quirky and outdated tech of various kinds. It’s curated by musician Sam James Battle, also known as Look Mum No Computer, as his music typically involves DIY analog synths and sequencers that don’t use an actual computer or digital audio workstation (as the DAW-bound musician that I am, I’m quite envious). Battle has messed with his fair share of gaming gear as well, including an enormous instrument made up of over a dozen Game Boys, and a synthesizer using a Sega Mega Drive. But one of his latest projects is more focused on playing games than playing music with things that are meant to play games. Behold, Long Pong Deluxe:
Battle enlisted the help of coder Chris Riggs and a few others to do the actual coding for Long Pong as, in Battle’s own words, he’s “not codely endowed.” The screen is made up of what looks like 20 individual LED matrix displays, each using a Raspberry Pi as the brain.
But perhaps what’s most impressive is that, since Riggs is based here in the States while the Long Pong project was built and housed in the UK, the Raspberry Pi units were programmed over the internet, with Riggs checking the results through a Discord video chat.
Long Pong doesn’t just play Pong, either. The big screen also plays some other retro games like Breakout and Space Invaders—or, as Look Mum No Computer said “Spaaaaaaaaace Invaaaaaaders, cause it’s really long.” The screen also visualizes waveforms based on sound created in the room.