Ralph Baer (1922–2014) and his family fled Nazi Germany in 1938 and immigrated to New York. He served in the US Army during World War II and trained for an engineering career after his discharge. He was fascinated by television, but thought that television owners should be able to do more than change channels and turn the set on or off. He wanted people to interact with their sets, playing games like ping pong, tennis, and checkers.
In 1966, he began creating prototypes and sketches to realize his vision.
His inventions were the basis of the home video game industry, which launched commercially in 1972 when Magnavox debuted the Odyssey game console.
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