Creator of first home video game system, Ralph Baer, dies at 92

By Thor Benson Contact the Author   |   Dec. 7, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Ralph Baer and President Bush in 2006
Ralph Baer and President Bush in 2006

MANCHESTER, N.H., Dec. 7 (UPI) — The man often referred to as the “father of video games,” Ralph Baer, has died at the age of 92.He died at his home in New Hampshire, according to his friends, Gamasutra reports.

Baer invented the Magnavox Odyssey, the first video game console for the home. He came up with the idea for playing games on a television while working at a defense-electronics company called Sanders Associates in Nashua, N.H. in 1966.

Baer developed a simple prototype called the Brown Box, which was finished in 1968. It would later turn into the Odyssey in 1972.

The Odyssey was very popular, selling over 330,000 units in total, and it arrived three years before Atari’s Pong

Baer's Brown Box at the Smithsonian. (CC/George Hotelling)
Baer’s Brown Box at the Smithsonian. (CC/George Hotelling)


In 2006, Baer was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President George W. Bush for his work in the video game industry.

He also invented the first light gun for shooting games.

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