An electrical engineer and former U.S. Marine from San Francisco, Calif., Dabney developed “Computer Space,” the world’s very first commercial video game, with Nolan Bushnell in 1970. The game was a failure upon release in 1971, but in June of the following year, the pair launched Pong, Atari’s smash arcade hit.
Although he left the company in 1973 after a falling out with Bushnell, Dabney made an indelible mark on the video-game industry. He famously built Atari’s earliest arcade machines from repurposed TV components, and played an instrumental role in shaping the unmistakable sound effects that defined the arcades of the ’70s and ’80s. Despite the differences, the pair collaborated on Pizza Time Theatre, which later became known as Chuck E. Cheese’s.
Dabney spent time at Raytheon and Fujitsu, and continued making games under