Al Alcorn is one of the most important figures from the earliest days of the videogame industry. Not only was he there at the birth of Atari, alongside Nolan Bushnell, but he was the engineer who built Pong – the second coin-operated videogame machine and the game that kicked off an industry. He was also integral to the creation of the Atari VCS – the first incredibly successful cartridge-based home console, as well as a number of other products and designs. Over his ten year tenure at Atari, Alcorn saw the company grow in leaps and bounds, had meetings in hot tubs and eventually saw the company starting to slide after Warner Communications bought it.
Since those days he hasn't been directly involved in the videogame industry, but has remained on the cutting edge, working for Apple from 86-91 on a new technology called mpeg and working with a think tank funded by Paul Allen earlier this decade (from which he spun off Zowie – a company that created a line of 'smart toys'). IGN caught up with Al at Game On in Melbourne for a chat.