PS3 News: The Father Of Video Games: "Who Could Have Predicted It?" - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

The Father Of Video Games: "Who Could Have Predicted It?"

You know the heavy hitters in the video game industry today. Sure, names like Hideo Kojima carry a lot of recognition and respect these days.

But you really shouldn't forget the name that started it all, the name that should always and forever be synonymous with interactive entertainment: Ralph Baer. Known as the Father of Video Games, Baer's career, as summarized in a recent Web2Carz interview, is absolutely astounding.

Now at the age of 90, Baer is responsible for...well, just about everything concerning the dawn of video games. This is a guy who was not only a German refugee during World War II, he also made consistent breakthroughs in the world of electronics, and eventually earned the prestigious National Medal of Technology (you can see him accepting congratulations from President Bush through the link above). You should read up on everything Baer accomplished during the first 30-35 years of his tech career; only after all that did he help produce the "Brown Box," which became known as the Magnavox Odyssey.

If you've never heard of it, that's too bad, because it's the first home video game console in history. You've certainly heard of Pong, and it was on the Odyssey that the revolutionary game debuted. But it hardly ends there; believe it or not, Baer holds a grand total of 150 U.S. and foreign patents, many of which are directly related to electronic toys and games. And he could even be considered the pioneer in the first-person shooter category, as he was responsible for the world's first light gun game, Shooting Gallery on the Odyssey.

So what does he think of all the advancements and progression in the industry over the past half-century? Well, it's a perfect quote:

"Who could have predicted it?"

Heck, I don't think anyone in the 80s could've predicted where we are now, let alone anyone in the 40s or 50s. But as Baer reminds everyone, "what is magical today won't be magical to your kids." And so it goes.

Tags: ralph baer, father of video games, gaming culture, gaming industry

10/11/2012 9:14:21 PM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (16 posts)

Clamedeus
Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 10:15:43 PM
Reply

"what is magical today won't be magical to your kids."

^ Truth.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Killa Tequilla
Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 10:50:04 PM

But it will be to you :)

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Clamedeus
Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 11:12:52 PM

Indeed. :)

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 11:26:00 PM

Yeah, just think of the ball and the cup. Not so magical now.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Neo_Aeon666
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 1:02:30 AM

No biggy! You just have to grow your kids in an amish city until they get 16yrs old and then watch'em get amazed by Pong :D lol Still possible!

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Clamedeus
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 7:47:51 AM

Haha Neo. :P

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 11:31:08 PM
Reply

The history of gaming is an amazing thing, I watched a cool two part documentary on it once and there's a lot more to it than you'd. There were many times when the whole enterprise nearly shut down as a failed experiment in entertainment.

I certainly couldn't have predicted all this. As kids we watched that movie "Wizard" and thought wow man maybe years from now this could be a big competitive sport, never imagining it would so soon be approaching photorealism.

I think he cuts to the quik of the issue in that quote about what is magical; those of us who were mesmerized by Atari feel like it's kind of a shame that kids need a lot more than that now to have fun. But that's just the nature of things.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

tes37
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 12:32:11 AM

I watched a documentary once that had Ralph Baer in it. I don't remember if it was just about him or if it was the same show you watched. I remember I didn't watch the same tv as you, but the rest is a little vague.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Victor321
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 1:24:25 AM
Reply

Father of video games huh? Video Games at heart were always a collaborative medium, so...where's the mother :S?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

tlpn99
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 3:05:25 AM
Reply

I dunno World am on the 4th version of the cup and ball game lol ;-)

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 11:40:12 AM

haha

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 6:49:46 AM
Reply

I know that I would never have thought the likes of Uncharted to be possible in interactive entertainment when playing a sprite based adventure game called (I believe) Hero, on the Atari. I would never have imagined how close we are to realism with Gran Turismo 5 and (reportedly) Forza Horizon playing Outrun Europa on the Master System.

It really is incredible to think how far we've come. Yet so many people are still not happy, harping on the flaws of productions... So it goes.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 9:17:16 AM
Reply

Damn,
Besides my Telstar Alpha console(which was a variant of the Odyssey), I also used to play another of his big-time inventions too, the "Simon"

Last edited by BikerSaint on 10/12/2012 9:18:03 AM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Amnesiac
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 9:46:21 AM
Reply

I haven't read much about the history of video games but wasn't military funding the sole reason for video game development?
Because video games make us better soldiers

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

tes37
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 11:05:28 AM

Ralph Baer was in the military when he stumbled upon the means to make pong. He was using military equipment and it's because of the military that further advances were made.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Rogueagent01
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 8:15:00 PM
Reply

I am always amazed when I read or watch anything involving poeple like Ralph Baer or Nolan Bushnell. The things they did made this industry not only possible but allowed it to flourish. And thanks to people like them and unfortunately the funding militaries have brought to the industry we have what we have today. I would like to thank them for bringing a life long hobby to my living room.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

Will the PS4 continue to outsell the Xbox One?
Definitely. Microsoft has no hope.
Probably, but it will be a tight race.
I doubt it; Xbox One will come back.
No, PS4 will falter over the years.

Previous Poll Results