Why Were Video Games Invented?

Ralph H. Baer, an engineer who worked for a company that manufactured televisions, had the idea to enhance sales of the company’s products by incorporating an electronic video game inside a television set. Baer ultimately came up with a prototype console in 1967, despite the fact that the firm he worked for had rejected his proposal.

Baer became the principal engineer of Sanders Associates, and with the assistance of William T. Rusch and William H. Harrison, he developed the first prototype of a device that could be linked to a conventional television set. By 1968, the group had already developed “Brown Box” and a number of simple interactive games, such as Checkers and Chase Game. In 1971, Baer and Magnavox collaborated to develop the Odyssey console, which included paddle controllers and screen overlays for producing false-color images. This project took place in 1971.