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The Father of Video Games Calls Current State of the Industry a “Disgrace”. |

While today’s gamers sit in front of their televisions with our eyes glued to the screen and hands affixed to their controller we may forget just how video games all started. Long before PlayStation and the Xbox become house hold names in 1972 Ralph H. Baer , a.k.a “Father of Video Games” invented the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, which also pre-dates the Atari 2600.

At the age of 89 Baer has witnessed the evolution of gaming first hand as video games have made the huge technical leap forward from Pong to Uncharted. And while players may be impressed with the changing face of video games over the decades, Baer isn’t too happy with what the industry has become.

I think it’s a disgrace,” Baer stated in a recent interview. “What I created got abominated. You can see the same thing in music, literature, art — any form of art,” he added.

Despite his dissatisfaction with the entertainment medium he helped create nearly 50 years ago, Ralph H. Baer is still proud of his contribution to the video game industry. In the late 80s Baer created the first motion controller for the Nintendo NES system ( which Nintendo rejected at the time ) that involved a camera mounted on a television which tracked a player’s movements. Sounds a lot like the Eye Toy doesn’t it?


  • I’d say calling it a disgrace might be a slight exaggeration, but I agree there are many things wrong with it. However, as in most things we see today there’s plenty of good examples too.

    The problem is we live in a planet with 7 billion people and there’s no way we can produce one thing that will please everyone. It’s also unrealistic to expect every product to be held to the highest standards of some individuals, when there’s clearly demand for lesser products as well.

    I believe it’s up to us to be capable enough of discerning good from bad, and if you’re not, then it’s not somebody else’s fault, it’s your own. The consumers should be aware of that.


  • Get him a Wii, STAT!

  • wolfkin

    naa there’s an extent to which I can understand why one would say that. There was a time when TV was awesome and now it’s disgraceful that the most popular and highest grossing shows on TV are shows following uninteresting people live day to day lives (and I’m not even talking about the passable “it’s just a job” shows like Ice Truck Roaders, Hogs Gone Wild et al)

    It is a bit hyperbolic to say the entire industry is a disgrace there is good to be found within it (as there is still good TV being put out Breaking Bad, Misfits, The Killing) but if you wanted to say TV is becoming a disgrace I get that. Same with games.

  • He’s just mad people rejected his ideas. Cameras in the 80s sucked so his kinect idea probably didnt work all that well and might have been to expensive.

  • What he created got hated? The gentleman seems to think that he’s coined a clever neologism in rendering “abomination” as a transitive verb, but the verbal form already exists.

    The gentleman’s complaint is hardly worth commenting on. We certainly do see the same kind of reactionary vitriol directed at all forms of art every generation. Baer’s elders and better were doubtless once bemoaning the waning of pre-Raphaelitism in favor of this new-fangled Impressionist claptrap.

  • dragon290513

    Thats too extreme isnt it?