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Health & Science

Ralph Baer, The Man Who Thought Up Video Games, Dies

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The comedian Steven Wright once joked that the guy who wrote "The Alphabet Song" wrote everything. We now remember a man who played that kind of role for video games. Imagine if you had filed for a patent in 1971 for a piece of equipment hooked up to a TV that is capable of manipulating dots on a screen, basically the videogame console.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Ralph Baer owned that patent. The inventor-engineer died over the weekend at the age of 92. He lived to see video gaming become a billion-dollar business, which all started with his Brown Box. That's what Baer called his prototype, which he sketched out on a legal pad while waiting for a bus. It really was a brown box. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.