Unix and Overlooked Pop Culture

The *Nixed Report covers technology and topics that have a popular following but are often overlooked or misunderstood and/or misrepresented by traditional media venus.

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Episode 71: Ralph Baer, the Father of Video Games


According to Wikipedia, Ralph Baer was born in Germany and would flee with his family to the United States before World War II broke out.  He would ultimately receive the National Medal of Technology in 2004 by then President George W. Bush.  Among his noted products are the Magnavox Odyssey, a digital video game console that was ahead of its time.

Fans of Simon and Super Simon can thank Baer.  He created the game, originally called Follow Me.  When Milton Bradley bought the product from him, the name was changed.  The most modern iteration, SImon Swipe, can be found today on Hasboro's website.

There was ultimately a patent dispute between Magnavox and Atari, who Nolan Bushnell worked for.  Bushnell would ultimately be credited for creating the first arcade machine.

Though Baer doesn't care for violence in video games, he prefers not to force his views upon others as noted in an interview with Ars Technica.

A comparisson of the Odyssey to other consoles can be found here.  More info about Baer can be found here.



Filetype: MP3 - Size: 28.57MB - Duration: 31:12 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)