Anniversary: The Father Of Video Games Would’ve Been 100 Years Old Today
As our friends in Retronauts (and many others), today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the man many call the father of video games, Ralph Baer. It’s hard to say, but without Baer’s work as an inventor and pioneer who developed the first Magnavox Odyssey home game console, the industry would look very different today.
Born in Germany on March 8, 1922, Baer and his family moved to America when he was a teenager. Baer entered the National Institute of Radio Communications as a radio technician and graduated in 1940. Just three years later, he was drafted into the army to fight in World War II, where he served in military intelligence.
After the war, Baer enrolled at the American Television Institute of Technology and graduated in 1949 with a degree in television engineering.
Baer has a rich history in the electronics industry, and his many inventions paved the way for console and home gaming. His Brown Box was one of his first creations, which started as a humble idea to just play games on the TV. Which seems to have caught on! Except, you know, when you’re playing handheld.
In 2006, Baer donated many of his prototypes and documents to the Foundation
Smithsonian Institutionbut he never stopped building and playing with electronics. His creations go beyond mere inspiration and innovation in many aspects of the video game industry, but we are sure that many who love technology and video games, in particular, will be celebrating his life today.
We paid tribute to Baer when he passed away in 2014 with a few more of his incredible creations, including the machine that inspired Atari’s Pong machine, which eventually earned him his now-famous moniker, “The Father of Video Games.”