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Videogames: In the Beginning Paperback – April 26, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Videogames: In The Beginning is a remarkable document. Anyone who gives a damn about videogame history must own a copy. --Zach Meston, PSE2 Magazine, January 2005

About the Author

Mr. Ralph H. Baer is an electronic engineer and engineering consultant with nearly 60 years of hands-on engineering management and product licensing experience. Mr. Baer has over 150 US and foreign patents. He is probably best known as the "Father of Videogames" and holds the pioneer patent covering video games. His work in the sixties resulted in the Magnavox Odyssey game system which was the first commercial home videogame. His early videogame hardware already resides in such places as the Smithsonian and the Japanese National Science Museum. For over fifty years Mr. Baer has been active in both the commercial and defense electronics development and production business; and in electronic toy and game invention, design and licensing. Many well-known handheld electronic toys such as Milton-Bradley's Simon came from his lab.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Rolenta Press (April 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964384817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964384811
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By K. Feinstein on May 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Ralph Baer is the genius who ushered in the age of videogames with his "brown box" and the Magnavox Odyssey. If you were unfamiliar with his name, or just want to read about the incredibly influential, varied and imaginative work of a true artisan - get this book!

I've spent over a decade chronicling the history of videogames through the museum exhibit VIDEOTOPIA and I'd suggest you don't miss out on this book. To get such a detailed and intimate look at a true pioneer of the digital age is a rare, rare treat. Ralph Baer is a gentleman, a scholar and an inventor of incredible skill. You'll be amazed at the extent of his creations (and just how many of them that you are familiar with - you just didn't know HE created them!)

Videogames are the sole reason for the information revolution that we are living through today. There might have been an internet without them - but without them, there'd be no one ON that internet except for academics. There is simply no reason for computers to have all the vast capabilities that they have today in speed and visualization if their sole purposes were for word processing and spreadsheets. Videogames are the engine that have driven the industry, and Ralph Baer was the first one to turn the key and fire that engine up.

Owning this book is like being able to page through Edison's notebooks or thumb through Columbus's diaries as he charted a course for a new world... Just like Columbus, Ralph Baer did chart a course to a new world (and just like Columbus - he couldn't conceive of exactly what that world we be like, or where the discoveries would take us)... and you are looking for books within it right now!
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Format: Paperback
I was fortunate enough to be able to interview Ralph Baer a few years ago when he was still working on getting this book published. A fascinating and insightful man who has changed the way people perceive entertainment, this book is not just a defense of his place in a long line of beloved electronic entertainment (Nolan Bushnell taking Pong from Baer, followed by Baer taking Electronic Simon from Bushnell is certainly one of my favorite stories in the video game industry) but also a fascinating look into the emergent technologies that have evolved today to be almost unrecognizable. If you like electronic gadgets, this is the book for you. Really very fascinating and enjoyable to read and explore.
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It's a bit dry, on the technical side. Engineers would love it (so, I did love it).

But it was a Christmas present for my daughter, who is a professional in the video game business, on the "soft side" (licensing, marketing, distribution, etc.). She grew up about 15 miles from where all the technical action takes place in the book, and she knows that neighborhood well. Even though she is not very technical, she thought it was very, very cool...
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very good book
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All I knew about Baer was that he's the controversial inventor of videogame console systems. I was skeptical of the stories I'd heard, but decided to give his side a read.

I am now convinced: even if the concept of videogames had never been a part of his life, he is still a man to be revered by us computer nerds, and his life story would still be worth reading, still one the rest of us can learn from - I sure did.

(To read the full review, please visit [...]
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