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Ralph Baer, Console Gaming Pioneer, Passes Away

by Eric Frederiksen | December 8, 2014December 8, 2014 12:15 pm PST


Ralph Baer, who is credited as the father of home video gaming, passed away Saturday at age 92.

Baer first came to America from Germany just months before World War II. After the war, Baer worked in electronics and eventually took the first small steps that would lead to Pong and every home video game. Baer was an inventor holding over 150 patents, including the toy Simon and the original light gun.

His most significant contribution to video games, though, was to push development on the first home video game system, the Magnavox Odyssey (pictured below). The device was originally called the Brown Box, but was eventually licensed by Magnavox for sale in 1972.

Baer would go on to receive the National Medal of Technology from President George W. Bush, the 2008 Game Developers Choice Pioneer Award, and would be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...