Ralph Baer, Video-Game Pioneer, Dies at 92
The man known as the 'father of video games' never stopped inventing.
A pioneer in the now $93 billion gaming industry, it's likely you've played with the games and systems Baer invented or influenced. In addition to building the first light gun -- a gun-shaped controller that allows users to shoot objects on screen -- he created the forerunner to Atari's Pong game as well as the colorful electronic memory game Simon, which made its debut in 1978 at Studio 54 and continues to be sold today.
In 1971, while employed at Sanders Associates, a defense contractor in Nashua, N.H., Baer filed for the first ever video-game patent. His papers are now housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and he was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2006.
So, what can entrepreneurs learn from Baer's legacy? The biggest takeaway is this: he never stopped inventing. And, as is the case with the best entrepreneurs, his work has inspired generations of new innovators, with a promise of more to come.