36 Pongs
April 11, 2012 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Pongs (browser game, Flash) is Pippin Barr's exploration of a tiny corner of the game design universe: 36 variations of Pong.
posted by nobody (12 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
It's pretty neat, but I wish there was a one-player option.
posted by General Malaise at 11:34 AM on April 11, 2012

One player would be great, but given how impossible some of them seem anyway, I'll take it as art and be amused it exists.

I ran into a page with some variants of Snake a few days ago, but not so organized as this. And really, with Snake you don't have too much other than design variation, not play.
posted by cobaltnine at 11:48 AM on April 11, 2012

Finally, as with all these projects, PONGS has come to symbolise certain “larger” issues of game design for me. In particular, making variants of something as simple as PONG helped me to distill in some way what games might be made of. Or rather than that, perhaps, it has been in playing the games and seeing how much of a difference a tiny rule change makes to the experience (and strategies and all that) of play that have been illustrative. I’m not clear that it’s helped me perceive any deeper truths about “what games are” or anything, but experientially, at least, it has felt interesting and worthwhile. You mileage will almost certainly vary. And, after all, isn’t it all about variable mileage in the end?

Pippin Barr, previously

I do love Barr's wry humor, especially "Serious Pong," in which the 'ball' is a refugee seeking asylum in Country X, and illegally re-entering home country Country Y. It seems that by letting the "refugee" pass, Country X isn't necessarily losing, according to their implied rules regarding asylum. Plate of beans, etc..
posted by obscurator at 12:18 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just great!
posted by KMB at 12:34 PM on April 11, 2012

Based on the "Dark Souls" post today, I think we can add "Pong" to the list of games where the use of computer keys instead of analog controls is detrimental to gameplay.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:40 PM on April 11, 2012

There's also the Joust/Pong mashup Flap-Ping, which was actually released as an Atari cartridge. You can play an online version here.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:16 PM on April 11, 2012

You can play Pong in the Middle, solo for a while.
posted by hot_monster at 2:08 PM on April 11, 2012

Back in my day Pong was Pong & Super Mario Bros. was Super Mario Bros. You kids and your mods and hacks.

posted by Fizz at 3:19 PM on April 11, 2012

I think most of the target audience for this game will not want someone playing the second player on their keyboard.
posted by UseyurBrain at 4:12 PM on April 11, 2012

Hm...not exactly sure what the implication is there, UyB. Presumably not something about growing up with an Atari?
posted by nobody at 4:42 PM on April 11, 2012

Fertility pong is one that actually works as a game. Balls multiply every time they hit a paddle.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:43 AM on April 13, 2012

Back in my day Pong was Pong & Super Mario Bros. was Super Mario Bros.


Back in MY day, Pong was Pong and Super Mario Bros. was "what the hell are you talking about? A grocery store?"
posted by ShutterBun at 2:54 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

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