San Dimas California resident and computer engineer Ziggy Arrett recently announced that what has long believed to be the longest game of Pong had finally ended. Started on Forth of July weekend in 1987, Ziggy and his new wife started a game of Pong, positioned the paddles so that the ball would continuously bounce back and forth thus never scoring unless someone touched the controls.
The Gaming Free Press caught up with Ziggy who granted us this interview:
GFP: Ziggy, we want to thank you for this opportunity to interview you. Tell us, what made you decide to do this, to facilitate the longest game of Pong in history?
ZIGGY: Well, my wife and I won the machine at an arcade auction. It was in great shape but needed a bit of cleaning. I noticed that the game didn’t use a traditional processor, it was all discrete electronics, which already by 1987 standards was considered ancient. However the engineer in me was haunted by the fact that discrete electronics almost last forever. That’s what sparked the idea – to see how long the game run before it would malfunction.
GDP: Walk us through your set up here, our understanding is that its powered by solar, is that correct?
ZIGGY: It is correct, we knew the machine could be the victim of a power outage caused by a storm or an earthquake, or what have you. At the time I was working with a Solar Panel manufacturing firm, I got the idea of using a bank of cells and batteries to power the system. Over the years the bank of batteries have been carefully swapped out, and newer more efficient panels have been replaced. Each time we had to be very careful to not make any mistakes and kill the power through clumsiness.
GDP: We noticed that the screen doesn’t have much burn in, how did you prevent that from happening?
ZIGGY: The monitor, which is actually just a TV, is the original. Before we started the game I installed a killswitch that powered the flyback transformer. We would know the game was still running because we would hear the beeps every time the ball bounced off one of the paddles.
GDP: What happened that finally ended the game?
ZIGGY: The inverter which we used to create the AC power finally gave up the ghost. Of all of the equipment, it was the one thing that was never replaced, and never blew out a fuse. I never installed a redundant system because I didn’t think the machine would have lasted more than a few months anyways.
GDP: We appreciate the time you have given us today. Do you have any future plans now that the longest game of Pong has concluded?
ZIGGY: As a matter of fact I do. I’ve been a practicing cross dresser for the past two years and I also have a diaper fetish. I’m driving down to San Diego in two weeks to meet up with a young man from the Philippines who not only has similar interests, but is also into leather. I love the smell and feel of leather, especially if its loaded with stainless steel studs. Sometimes at night I’ll lay on the garage floor and drape a 20 pound leather biker coat over my head. It’s an amazing feeling.