Get To Know Gaming Pioneer Ralph Baer
A new video profile gives all you young whippersnappers an overdue lesson on the "Father of Videogames."
In his 90-year lifespan, Ralph Baer has done more for the gaming industry than all but a handful of people (and those people have names like Will Wright and Shigeru Miyamoto). The man invented the Magnavox Odyssey, created the first light gun-based videogame (which also just happened to be the first videogame peripheral) and at an age when most people would be comfortably relaxing or waiting grimly for the icy clutch of death, he's still inventing.
That video embedded at top-right comes courtesy of director David Friedman, and offers an excellent, glossy portrait of Mr. Baer's life, accomplishments, and what the man is up to now. It's important viewing for two reasons: both because the man is such a crucial figure in the history of gaming, and because he's just so spritely for his age.
Forget all of Mr. Baer's inventions and contributions to the world; if you want to aspire to any facet of the guy's life, it should be his longevity. After nine decades, I'll be happy to be anything more corporeal than scattered ashes, but Baer is still chugging along, more lucid and creative than most of us twentysomething slacker-types.
So while I would like to tip my hat to Mr. Baer for everything he's done, I don't think it's entirely necessary. Odds are solid he'll outlive us all, and that's a pretty excellent reward for his creative industriousness.
It's no surprise to me that Baer lived to be such a grizzly old man.
WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO PLAY SALUTE YOU!
He compares himself to a painter, but seriously... With such mad skills he's more like Leonardo Da Vinci than some random guy who draws two squares and a circle and thinks that's the epitome of art!