If we're going to talk about people who shaped the future, names like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs get thrown around. But to gamers all over the world, there is but one to whom we owe much - Ralph Baer, the father of video games.
And today, we say goodbye to him. Ralph Baer has passed on.
Ralph Baer lived a very interesting life. He was born in 1922. He fled Nazi-controlled Germany, and moved to America, right before the attacks on Jewish stores and homes in 1938. In 1940, Ralph graduated from the National Radio Institute. From 1943 to 1946, Ralph served in the US Army, where he became a recognized expert on military small arms.
In 1946, Ralph went back to school and graduated from American Television Institute of Technology. From 1950 onwards, Ralph would go on to design and invent a multitude of devices including surgical cutting machines and analog computers to track submarines.
It was in 1966 when Ralph had the idea to use a television for gaming. On Sept. 1, 1966, Ralph pretty much wrote the very first video game document (so I guess he's the dad of GameFAQs also). And only 5 days later on Sept 6, 1966, Ralph drew up plans for the world's first video game system.
On May 7, 1967, the first ever 2-player video game was played. It's unfortunate that during this game, Ralph Baer actually lost, which makes him the very first person ever in the world to get pwnd.
First ever rage quit.
On June 14, 1967, Ralph demonstrated the world's first light gun.
November 9 to 13, 1967 - the first video game console was born. The first fully functional Pong game was demonstrated. It wasn't until Jan. 15, 1968 that he received the patent for it, though.
In July 17, 1970, he sealed the deal with the Magnavox TV-set, the world's first home video game console - the great, great, great grand father to your iPhones and PS4s.
In March 1972, the world was introduced to video gaming.
All of this, thanks to one man's ingenuity and dedication. All those hours you spent enjoying the hell out of your favorite video game was thanks to Ralph Baer's curiosity.
Good-bye, Ralph Baer. And thank you.