Crazy about Wii, Nintendo, X-Box, and PlayStation? Meet the inventor whose work made them all possible: Ralph Baer, creator of the first home video game system!
Today, the video game industry keeps growing, with ever more platforms available to fans. But how did the very first system come about? This picture-book biography of Ralph Baer, whose family fled Nazi Germany for the US, introduces kids to a great inventor AND the birth of the first home console. Using wartime technology, Baer thought outside the box and transformed the television into a vehicle for gaming; Baer’s invention, the Odyssey, is a precursor to the Atari gaming system. Today, interactive systems like Wii and PlayStation are descendants of Ralph’s innovative “Brown Box,” making this award-winning inventor the true “Father of Video Games.”
Ralph invented some things to solve his own pain points and other things to satisfy his curiosity and thirst to push boundaries. What is a pain point you have in your life? Can you think of an invention that would fix it?
It’s likely that you’ve never heard of Ralph Baer before, but he accomplished so much! Do you know who invented some of your favorite things? With an adult’s help, do a little research and see what you can learn! Do you know all of the impressive things the people in your life (parents, grandparents, coaches, etc.) have accomplished? Ask them!
Marcie Wessels loves to play games - especially board games like Scrabble. She tinkers with words and invents stories including PIRATE’S LULLABY: MUTINY AT BEDTIME and THE BOY WHO THOUGHT OUTSIDE THE BOX: THE STORY OF VIDEO GAME INVENTOR RALPH BAER. She lives in San Diego, California. You can find her online at www.marciewessels.com
Beatriz Castro born in Logroño, La Rioja, Spain. After graduating from the School of Arts in Logroño in 2008, she embarked on a career as a professional illustrator. Her art has appeared on covers and in books produced by international publishers. Beatriz lives in her native town with her family.
For gamers everywhere
For my family, especially Carlos and my dogs. And for those who are here, and those who are no longer with us.
“A gentle introduction to a passionate inventor’s incredible impact on our culture. Young gamers will get a kick out of their beloved systems’ humble beginnings.”
“Perseverance and creativity in the face of challenges recur as important themes and keys to Baer’s success. Moreover, Wessels emphasizes Baer’s curiosity in the process of creation, not simply the result . . . A personable and energetic introduction with a positive message.”