Ralph Baer

Ralph Baer

Ralph Baer is a German-born American video game pioneer, inventor, engineer, commonly considered to be "The Father of Video Games".
He is noted for his many contributions to games and the video game industry. In 2006, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for inventing the home console for video games and spawning the video game industry.
Baer started development of a video game system he called "Brown Box" in 1966 whilst he was also developing several other prototypes for the defense-electronics company Sanders Associates in Nashua, New Hampshire (now part of BAE Systems), and in 1971 it was licensed to Magnavox, and renamed the "Magnavox Odyssey".
The console was released to the public in 1972. For a time it was Sanders' most profitable line, though many in the company looked down on game development.

Baer created the first light gun and game for home television use, sold grouped with a game expansion pack for the Odyssey, and collectively known as the Shooting Gallery. The light gun itself was the first peripheral for a video game console.

Another invention is Simon, an electronic pattern-matching game that was immensely popular in the late 1970s and 80s.




Photograph of Ralph Baer Click for a larger version

Help support the museum by buying from the museum shop

View all items

Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund
Accredited Museum