Ralph H. Baer at Computerspielemuseum

Ralphbaer450.jpg

President George W. Bush presents a National Medal of Technology, Monday, Feb. 13, 2006 to Ralph H. Baer of Manchester, N.H., during ceremonies in the East Room of the White House. Baer was honored for his groundbreaking and pioneering creation, development and commercialization of interactive video games. White House photo by Eric Draper
image public domain via wikipedia

Yesterday night Andreas Lange of the Computerspielemuseum showed a video of a visit of Ralph H. Baer on June 16 in Berlin.

Ralph Baer is an engineering pioneer and inventor of numerous Computergames. He was recently awarded the “National Medal of Technology” for his inventions (see image above). He is reckoned as the inventor of game consoles. His inventions led in 1972 to the first console called Odyssey. The Tennis game on that console gave way to the invention of the pong game of Atari in the same year.

It was the first time since May 1938 that he visited Germany, the country were he was born and which he had to leave when he was 16. Talking about nazis and Germany’s past he expressed his discomfort with state control and total surveillance. In this context he also showed concern about the current tendencies in US politics.

His stories are very interesting and vivid. He is emanating the old engineering/inventor spirit and he is well aware of the fact that this spirit rather belongs to old times. He asserted that nowadays engineering tasks usually mean that you are a little wheel in a big industry and that this fact may also be a reason, why not so many people like to study engineering anymore.

I hope that Andreas can make the video documentation available online.

3 Responses to “Ralph H. Baer at Computerspielemuseum”

  1. randform » Blog Archive » Games Convention part I - pong.mythos Says:

    [...] The history of pong, inventor Ralph H. Baer is patron of pong.mythos [...]

  2. Ralph H. Baer Says:

    The photo you show at the top of this page is not one of me at the Berlin Computerspielemuseum although I was there indeed in June of 2006.

    That photo is one taken on February 13, 2006 at a White House cermony and shows me just after the President of the Untited States placed the National Medal of Technology around my neck.

    The National Medal of Technology is the USA equivalent of the Nobel Technology prize.

    Please make the corrections.

    Vielen Dank.

    Ralph H. Baer

  3. nad Says:

    Dear Mr. Baer

    Thank you very much for taking your time to
    inform me about the missing image caption.

    There was a reference to the image within the text,
    but you are right – this was not enough.

    I inserted the missing caption. Thank you very much
    again. We feel very honoured that you visited our blog.

    Yours sincerely

    Nadja Kutz

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