Videogames: In the Beginning

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That's where Baer's self-obsession really begins to manifest itself. Multiple long-winded side notes about nothing in particular, including footnotes and bibliographical references to personal notekeeping that none of us have any access to and therefore are unable to follow up on, are included here, evidently in some bizarre attempt to establish more credibility "No, see guys, I did invent videogames!

My notes from the s prove it! Even more laughable is the appendix detailing Ralph Baer's "firsts," which starts off with the "pioneer patent of the videogame industry" which is all well and good, but then devolves into his claiming that almost every conceivable contraption he had a hand in creating from that point on should also rightfully be considered a first. He even claims that he was the first person to create "a line of talking children's toys shaped like tools," as if that's perhaps going to be some huge industry someday that no one has had the real foresight to cash in on yet.

It's around this point that everything becomes absolutely absurd and you realize that for the past few days you've been reading the rantings of an insane old man who is clinging desperately to his one great accomplishment in an attempt to remain culturally relevant and leave a lasting impact on the world.

The History of Video Games Documentary

I'm certainly glad that Ralph Baer came up with the concept of videogames when he did, or else we may not have the videogames that we have today, not in this form at least. But I remain confident that somebody would have picked up on the idea eventually -- in fact, multiple people had stumbled onto some form of the concept of their own accord in the s, although Baer is quick to dismiss all of them as pretenders to the throne of invention that only he could possibly occupy.

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So I guess what I mean to say is that I'm glad that videogames were invented and it's fortunate that the timing worked out like it did. Probably the only unfortunate part is that Baer makes his admittedly impressive achievements into nothing but a silly joke by writing the kind of childish opinionated drivel seen in this autobiography. Worth reading for the laughs, and also for the factual data that's sandwiched in between the author's unfortunate ravings.

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View 2 comments. Dec 25, Emma rated it it was ok Shelves: history , reference. This book goes into a lot of technical detail which is probably very interesting to engineers but rendered some passages unintelligible to me. A bigger problem is that the author obviously feels aggrieved that Nolan Bushnell is generally credited with inventing videogames, and repeatedly shows that this is wrong by listing all the evidence that proves his case.

A single explanation of this would have sufficed, and the endless repetition left me feeling very unsympathetic toward him.

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Jan 13, Kevin rated it really liked it. A fascinating insight into the beginnings of video game technology by the man who helped invent the technology in the first place. A bit jabbing at Nolan Bushnell, but that's not entirely surprising. Jul 19, Dave rated it really liked it. Loved the detail and diagrams, and the fight about who came up with the first video games. Pashford Murano rated it it was amazing Mar 03, Gregory Gay rated it liked it May 06, Mark Murphy rated it it was amazing Nov 22, Brandon Toh rated it it was ok Nov 04, Justin rated it liked it Mar 06, Andrew Eleneski rated it it was ok Nov 05, Steven rated it really liked it Aug 15, Robert MacLean rated it did not like it Jul 30, Stefan rated it liked it Aug 05, Jonas Eckerman rated it really liked it Apr 13, Javier rated it did not like it Mar 15, Valentin Guenichon rated it really liked it May 17, Jason Corfman rated it really liked it May 07, He signs guest book for Magnavox Odyssey demo and plays the Odyssey ping-pong game hands-on.

The PONG game is a great success!

Magnavox Odyssey - Wikipedia

The first Pong game shows up a take-off of Odyssey's ping-pong game. The Home Video Game Industry is launched. The home video game business becomes a competitive industry Christmas with the appearance of the Atari-made Sears game. For a detailed account of what really happened read my book: " Videogames: In the Beginning ". Go to www. To supplement the electronic action, a deck of playing cards, poker chips and a pair of dice were included. But the guts of the device were what mattered: 40 transistors and 40 diodes. That hardware ran everything. Odyssey, often called the first home computing device, had no software.

Several months after Odyssey hit the market, Atari came out with the first arcade video game, Pong. Though Pong became better known than Odyssey and was in some ways more agile, Sanders and Magnavox immediately saw it as an infringement on their patent.

Videogames: In The Beginning

They sued Atari in for usurping their rights. Baer often testified. Goldberg wrote. The roots of video games go back to universities and research laboratories. Some experts cite William A. Baer, who said he had never seen Tennis for Two. From Mr.

Two technical paths merged to power this revolution. One was computer science; the other was Mr. Baer had more than United States and foreign patents, and his contributions ranged from talking doormats and greeting cards to submarine tracking systems. In , President George W. Bush awarded him the National Medal of Technology.


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In , he was admitted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Along with Howard Morrison, he invented the electronic game Simon, which was introduced at Studio 54 in Manhattan in and became a pop culture phenomenon in the s. A saucer-shaped plastic toy with four colored buttons, it lit up and emitted tones in a sequence that the player then had to reproduce. It is still being sold. Ralph Henry Baer was born on March 8, , into a Jewish family in Pirmasens, Germany, where his father worked in a shoe factory.

His family emigrated to New York in to escape Hitler and settled in the Bronx. Within a week, Mr.