Creator of world's first video game console dies at 92

The German-born engineer showed off the home console's first game in a 1969 video. His prototype could handle two opponents playing pingpong on a small television set.

Ralph Baer, the inventor who has been hailed as the father of video games for building the world's gaming console, died on Saturday, December 6, 2014, at his New Hampshire home.

Baer remained active until age 92 at his Manchester workshop and has more than 150 patents under his belt including the "Brown Box," his monumental creation sold as the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972.

Magnavox sold about 330,000 units over the years, but it also ignited a patent infringement battle with Atari over the creation of "Pong." The company settled with a $700,000 payout from Atari in 1974.

Baer's first Brown Box is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

Magnavox released at least 27 games for the console the year of its big debut, including Baseball, Basketball and Prehistoric Gallery, which required Baer’s own Light Gun device.

Five years after the system's release, the Associated Press described Baer's work as responsible for keeping "millions of otherwise rational Americans staying up late."

Baer's started his career as a radio technician after escaping Nazi Germany with his Jewish family in 1938. He then served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Unlike the rest of his troop, Baer apparently missed the mission to Normandy after falling sick with pneumonia and being hospitalized, his close friend Leonard Herman told the Daily News.

"The man was just incredible. He had such an innocent youth to him. It was like you were with a big kid," Herman said.

His invention paved the way for a multi-billion dollar video game industry, but modern games weren't for him.

"He was amazed by what they could do, but he didn't play them," Herman added.

Baer continued to engineer toys and games long after Odyssey, one of his most well-known products being Simon, a popular memory game in the 1990s.

In 2006, President George W. Bush honored Baer with a National Medal of Technology for his game development.

Baer is survived by three children and four grandchildren.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

Amazing transformation of 21-year-old man bullied for being born different (video)

Amazing transformation of 21-year-old man bullied for being born different (video)

Video: Black Sherif goes global as players of Ligue 1 club jam to his ‘second sermon’

Video: Black Sherif goes global as players of Ligue 1 club jam to his ‘second sermon’

Lagos Police boss Odumosu apologises, frees arrested #EndSARS protesters, journalists

Lagos Police boss Odumosu apologises, frees arrested #EndSARS protesters, journalists

Sex: How long should you wait before having another round?

Sex: How long should you wait before having another round?

Young Nigerians hit streets of Lagos, Abuja for #EndSARS memorial

Young Nigerians hit streets of Lagos, Abuja for #EndSARS memorial

Kuami Eugene reportedly throws plush birthday party for his house help, Mary (PHOTOS)

Kuami Eugene reportedly throws plush birthday party for his house help, Mary (PHOTOS)

5 ways to have more mind-blowing sex in your relationship

5 ways to have more mind-blowing sex in your relationship

Do you know about Queen Luwoo, the first and only female Ooni of Ife?

Do you know about Queen Luwoo, the first and only female Ooni of Ife?

Here is how Prophet Jesus Ahoufe prophesied Shatta Wale's shooting on 18th October (VIDEO)

Here is how Prophet Jesus Ahoufe prophesied Shatta Wale's shooting on 18th October (VIDEO)