April 25, 2014 AT 3:00 pm

Time Warp: Writing Pong using Python and Pygame @Raspberry_Pi #piday #raspberrypi


Trevor Appleton’s tutorial let’s you program Pong, the classic video game from the 1970s, onto your raspberry pi using python and pygame. Be warned, however, once you’ve finished and have pong at your disposal, you may see a drop in your productivity level. Via Recantha.

Now it might not seem much of a game by today’s standards, but it was a massive hit in its day… or so I am told.

But don’t be deceived, although a simple game, Pong covers a wide range of aspects of computer game programming. There is movement, control, collision detection, scoring, artificial intelligence. Its all in there!

Being able to program Pong is a doorway to being able to program a lot of other games.

However once you start playing Pong you might find less time to program, as it is quite addictive!

We are going to program pong using Python and Pygame.

I will be using Python 2.7. For those programming on a Raspberry Pi this will already be installed. Just ensure you click on the IDLE icon and not the IDLE3 icon. If Python 2.7 is not installed on your system you may have to install it from the Python website, just follow the link below.


Pygame is a basically a set of modules which are designed to help you write computer games. We will be using some of these modules throughout this tutorial. You will need to install Pygame, which is free, and runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX (plus many more operating systems!)

If you are programming on a Raspberry Pi, again this is already installed, if not to download Pygame go to the Pygame website.


One final comment before we get into the programming, on the Raspberry Pi desktop there is a Python Games icon. This links you to a website by Al Sweigart who has written several Python books including one on Pygame. If you are new to Python then check out his books.


I cannot rate them highly enough! After several false starts with other books, it was these resources that taught me Python.

Ok that’s enough pre-amble, lets get on with it.

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