Ralph Baer, the man known as the father of video games, has passed away at the age of 92. He’s been credited as the creator of the Brown Box, the world’s first console video game system later licensed and sold as the Magnavox Odyssey – laying the foundations for the world of video games we know (and love) today.
Friends described him as a “generous, fantastic and brilliant man”. Video game historian Leonard Herman says:
You could spend hours with him and forget that you were in the company of someone his age. He had a youthful enthusiasm and till the end, he spent as much time as he possibly could working on one project or another.
In 1980, Baer was named the “Thomas Edison of the home TV game” by Popular Electronics Magazine – not bad for a kid who taught himself how to repair radio and television sets by following mail-order instructions. As well as creating the first video game console, Baer also invented the light gun, the first gaming peripheral.
In recent years, Baer was recognised with the American National Medal of Technology, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife and three children.