Guys, can you believe we’re halfway there in the June is for the Dads series? Cartoon Network faves Richard Watterson and Hugh Test joined the ranks in our last post. This time we’re celebrating two fathers who hold legendary titles and have played significant roles in our childhood.
June 9th – Ralph H. Baer, The Father of Video Games
Video games are a favorite pastime for many of us thanks to an inventor and engineer named Ralph H. Baer. Ralph transformed interactive entertainment, earning the title “The Father of Video Games” and a spot on our list of favorite dads. His contributions to electronics and television engineering in the latter half of the 20th century helped pave the way for today’s multi-billion dollar video games industry.
Ralph is credited for creating the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, released commercially in 1972. He developed several games for the system, including a chase game, a shooting game, and a ball-and-paddle game. The ball-and-paddle game, by the way, happened to inspire Atari and eventually spawn the creation of Pong. Ralph’s ideas also went beyond television sets. In 1978, Ralph co-created the light-up memory games Simon and Super Simon for Milton Bradley.
His work spawned a revolution in games and technology, which fortunately hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2006, he received the National Medal of Technology from President George W. Bush. In 2010, Ralph was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He had more than 150 United States and foreign patents under his belt, ranging from talking doormats to submarine tracking systems.
Most importantly, The Father of Video Games helped shape our childhoods. If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have Atari, Simon, Xboxes or even Grand Theft Auto. Don’t agree? Then who do you see as The Father of Video Games? Let us know who and why?
June 10th – Father Christmas
No matter what you call him: Kris Kringle, Père Noël, St. Nick, or Santa Claus…
HE GIVES US GIFTS.
That’s all you need to know.
What really makes someone a father? Find out in the next post about The Boondocks‘ Granddad and The Powerpuff Girls‘ Professor Utonium, two men who unexpectedly have fatherhood thrust upon them.