The word "atari" is taken from the Japanese board game, Go. When you are about to win at Go, you say "atari," just as you'd say "check" in chess.
Atari was originally going to be called Syzygy, but that name was already taken. According to Webster's, a syzygy is a "straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies, e.g. the sun, moon, and Earth during an eclipse."
In Japan, you don't "munch" or "chomp," you "puck." In America, spelling and pronunciation were altered to "pac," since few pre-pubescents could fail to giggle at Puckman.
Rick Mauer earned only $11,000 for his Atari version of Space Invaders, a cartridge that grossed more than $100 million. Todd Frye, on the other hand, has collected close to $1 million for his disgracefully bad Atari adaptation of Pac-Man.
Spacewar, the world's first video game, debuted at MIT in May of 1962.
Complete instructions for Pong: "Deposit quarter. Avoid missing ball for high score." --C.B.
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