Pong: The Original Source of Video Game Bigotry
Similar to Polygon’s statement that “all video games are stupid” I’d like to state that “all video games are racist and sexist.” All of them. You see the problem stems from the very first successful video game back in 1972. While there were games before Pong, it can be said Pong is when the industry truly begun. It’s massive success lead to video games exploding in popularity. Without Pong it is reasonable to assume that video games would not be as popular nor the industry be as large as it is today. However, while video games since have copied Pong’s formula for success, in doing so they have also brought over Pong’s awful bigotry resulting in all modern video games having horrendous social issues.
Let’s start with Pongs horrible racism and diversity problem. In Pong you can are either one of two white protagonists. There are no people of colour in this game at all. Diversity is non‐existent. It’s as if this game was designed by Stormfront. Not only are you two white men (more on that later) you are playing over a “black” background. This is obviously a metaphor for the white man completely running over black people as if they were nothing. Think about how much whites stand out when black people are put in the back. This was all purposely done to symbolize white superiority.
Now in regards to Pong’s sexism problem you may wonder how anyone could assume that the player characters in Pong are male given their complete lack of detail. Well if you are wondering that you obviously don’t possess a progressive mind like mine, that can find bigotry and outrage in even the minutest details (it truly is a curse). The two Pong “paddles” are clearly two phalluses which are a representation of male sexuality. This also re‐iterates the white male patriarchy.
Now you may assume that this game has no female representation which makes it sexist but the truth is actually far worse. You see as Jonathan McIntosh, and later Anita stated (it’s uncanny, it’s like they’re the same person!), “In the game of patriarchy, women are the ball.” So that ball that you’re hitting around is actually a woman, a woman being passed around from one male to the other by being slapped around by a hard white penis. Children were being taught at a young age that passing a woman around like currency was fun.
Even more horribly sexist is the scoring system. If you manage to hit the woman so hard she avoids being raped by the other player you get a point. Do this enough and you win. It demonstrates that the most important thing is the patriarchal domination of females. You are meant to own that woman/ball and wreck her so hard that “if you can’t have her, no one else can.” It would have been better there were no females in the game instead we get a deplorable domestic violence simulator.
To further prove the point of sexism look at the controller for the home version of Pong — does it remind you of anything? (Once again you may need a “progressive mind” to notice this.) The home controller is clearly two breasts that you are meant to fondle to play and have fun. The twisting nob is clearly a nipple, areola and all. Even worse is the idea that you’re meant to harass this controller with a friend or family at the same time. If sexual molestation isn’t bad enough, Pong was teaching people that for maximum enjoyment you need to double team the woman.
It is no wonder that video games are the atrocious cesspool of racism and misogyny they currently are when Pong was what started it all. This appalling, ghastly piece of technical bigotry was the grandfather of all modern games so I think it is fair to blame it for the downfall of all humanity. If only Gone Home was that original trendsetting game back in 1972 then video games wouldn’t need saving.
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