Motherboard Interviews Video Game Pioneer Ralph Baer

by Matt Helgeson on Nov 18, 2009 at 07:10 AM

Motherboard has posted a fascinating video interview with video game pioneer Ralph Baer, best known for inventing Pong, the popular 1970s handheld game Simon, and the Magnavox Odyssey, the world's first home video game console. In the video, Baer discusses his life story, which includes fleeing from Nazi Germany and a stint in the U.S. military. He also treats the cameras to a live demonstration of the famous "Brown Box", his Odyssey prototype that he created for the military technology firm Sanders Associates in 1966. The video features vintage film footage of Baer demonstrating some of his other inventions, including a machine that allowed people to purchase items directly through their television and an early telephone modem, a device that laid the foundation for the Internet commerce of today.

Baer's contributions to technology and video games earned him the National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest honor in the field. It was presented to Baer by then-president George W. Bush.