A Leaf On The Wind

Hey Gamers,

Just popping in to say hi. Though I have plenty of work to do elsewhere, I thought I would take a moment to follow up on a comment I made a few days ago. When I was pondering my write up on Mario Kart and Nintendo’s recent crowd pleasing tendencies, I realized I had made a mistake.

Elton John Cat

…it’s a long level story.

Though the failure to mention Elton John in my Mario Kart post was indeed a misstep, it is not the one I was referring to. I was speaking to a mistake that was thoughtless on my part, as it was even more forgetful for a more important reason. Let me explain…

In my last post, I stated the following:

“This makes the second December in a row I have failed to provide anything meaningful to gaming culture, and for that I apologize.”

I didn’t think this one through too carefully, as I in fact wrote something very meaningful in the month of December, it just wasn’t on Active Time Event, nor was it a very joyous occasion. I’m referring to the small dedication I wrote to Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of the home video game console who passed away on December 6th. Though he lived a long life and left us at the age of 92, it’s never easy seeing someone pass away. Considering how important he was to my life and to our culture at large, it was hard not to get emotional due to his contributions to my life. Despite being down about his death, I knew I had to say thanks in the form of a dedication, as he was an icon who left behind an extraordinary legacy that has brought me endless joy.

Ralph Baer ATEMy farewell to Mr.Baer can be found here for anyone interested, and it links to a lot of other gaming outlets that celebrated the mans passing with some very heartwarming condolences. Even though we’ve lost a very sweet man and an amazing innovator, I feel pleasant knowing I can continue to thank him every time I pick up a controller, or when I write about the joys it brings me. I started re-reading Baer’s book: Video Games: In The Beginning, which is a fantastic read for anyone who’s interested in the history of video games and the birth of a medium. Mr.Baer wrote the entire thing himself, including patents, photographs, original blueprints and documented materials that were used as the premise for the first ever video game console.

Original Design Concepts Proposing A Home Game Console

Ralph Baer’s Original Design Concepts Proposing A Home Game Console (There’s So Many Documents About It!)

 

Seen Here: Ralph Baer Making History. No Biggie.

Seen Here: Ralph Baer Making History. No Biggie.

 

The Completed Prototype

The Completed Prototype! What Glory!

In closing, I apologize for carelessly stating I wrote nothing worthwhile in December, as I may have written one of the most meaningful pieces in the history of my writing. Ralph H. Baer and in essence video games, are why I do what I do every day so happily. Their significance could never be overstated, and Baer will be greatly missed. Though I did not get to meet the man before his passing, I was lucky enough to be able to play on one of his original prototypes called “The Brown Box” at E3 this past year, which speaks volumes to the man’s importance and relevancy even to this day. Despite being in a convention center dedicated to the latest tech, the newest games, and how much promise the future held for both me and gaming, it was playing on Baer’s Brown Box that sticks with me the most.

Pictured: The First Video Game Console Prototype Ever

Pictured: The First Video Game Console Prototype Ever

 

Not Pictured: Me Freaking Out Before This Picture Was Taken Because Of Excitement

Not Pictured: Me Freaking Out Before This Picture Was Taken Because Of Ridiculous Excitement

Thank you Mr.Baer, your thoughtfulness and your care has given me a controller to cry on, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Farewell.

~Pashford

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