Ralph Baer, father of video games, was a German Jew who escaped the Nazis
Inspiring story on Slate that briefly recounts the life of Ralph Baer, known as the father of video games.
Innovation requires the good fortune to be at the right place at the right time, as much as it does individual genius. Baer came to the United States during the heyday of the American industrial research lab, and New York was a center of electronics innovation. It was a world that seemed made for him. Intelligent and ambitious, he quickly found employment in the growing defense electronics sector in New York City, including at such companies as Loral Electronics and Transitron.
While he did well at jobs that capitalized on his military experience, Baer kept an eye on the extraordinary things happening with commercial radio and TV. In America’s postwar economic boom, televisions were entering homes at an amazing rate. By 1960, there were more than 50 million TV sets in American living rooms, and in this, Baer saw a rare opportunity.
He was convinced TVs were underutilized as a one-way, passive medium. Thus was born his idea of interactive TV, and what were initially called “television games.” One of his first assignments at Loral Electronics was to build a television set. “When I was with Loral,” he recalled, “I suggested that we do something drastically different with a TV set. But the chief engineer said, ‘Forget it. You’re already behind schedule anyway, so stop screwing around with this stuff. Build the set.’ ”
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.