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Ralph Baer, The Man Who Thought Up Video Games, Dies
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Ralph Baer, The Man Who Thought Up Video Games, Dies

Technology

Ralph Baer, The Man Who Thought Up Video Games, Dies

Ralph Baer, The Man Who Thought Up Video Games, Dies
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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/369276267/369276268" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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The 92-year-old was working as a military contractor in 1971 when he patented a piece of equipment that could create and control dots on a TV screen.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The comedian Steven Wright once joked that the guy who wrote "The Alphabet Song" wrote everything. We now remember a man who played that kind of role for video games. Imagine if you had filed for a patent in 1971 for a piece of equipment hooked up to a TV that is capable of manipulating dots on a screen, basically the videogame console.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Ralph Baer owned that patent. The inventor-engineer died over the weekend at the age of 92. He lived to see video gaming become a billion-dollar business, which all started with his Brown Box. That's what Baer called his prototype, which he sketched out on a legal pad while waiting for a bus. It really was a brown box.

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