Ralph Baer was a true pioneer in gaming, often referred to as the Father of the Video Game Industry, and he has sadly passed away at the age of 92 (confirmed by Gamasutra
Baer was born in Germany in 1922. His family fled from the Nazis to Holland only two months before the infamous Kristallnacht attacks on Jewish stores and homes, and from Holland they moved to America. It was here Baer's work in electronics took off when he developed the very first console video game system, originally known as the Brown Box, but later licensed and sold as 1972's Magnavox Odyssey, which laid the foundation for video games as we know them today. This was originally titld the Brown Box. (video below)
Baer - an engineer and inventor through and through - also developed the light gun, recognized as the very first peripheral for video game consoles, the interactive memory game, Simon, and other inventions. He holds of over 150 patents, and his work in electronics and gaming culminated in 2006 with him being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and awarded the National Medal of Technology by President George W Bush for his work in pioneering the video game industry.
He also received a 2008 Game Developers Choice Pioneer Award (video below), which he graciously accepted. "Thank you very much," he said at the time. "I appreciate the honor, and I'm still cranking out stuff. Goodbye."
Our condolences to Ralph Baer's family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. He was a legend in gaming, whose work touched millions and changed the world.
Ralph Baer tetsing the Brown Box with Bill Harrison in 1969:
Ralph Baer accepting his Game Developers Choice Pioneer Award in 2008:
Image via: Kotaku