Goodbye and Godspeed Ralph. You did us a solid.
The man largely credited as “the father of video games” has died at age 92, according to a report from Gamasutra. Ralph Baer, a German immigrant and inventor, created the very first home video game console in the late ‘60s. It was simply called the “Brown Box,” and it later came to be known as the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972 after he licensed out the design.
The device set the footprint for home consoles to this date: a computer in a box that was manipulated with controllers and connected to a television. He also developed a “light gun” controller that was bundled with a shooting game. It is widely believed to be the first-ever video game peripheral. Later, he designed the Simon pattern-matching electronic toy that’s still available today.
Baer was awarded the National Medal of Technology from President George W. Bush in 2006, and he received the Pioneer Award during the Game Developers’ Choice Awards in 2008 (video below). For more on Baer, check out this excellent interview from 2012 and this wonderful profile from Ars Technica.