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.