Father of Video Games.

Sit With the Father of Video Games

Field review by the editors.

Manchester, New Hampshire

Ralph Henry Baer was sitting at a bus stop in 1961 when he scribbled some notes about interacting with a television set. Seven years later, working for a New Hampshire defense contractor, he quietly led a small team that developed the "Brown Box," which could move dots around on a TV screen. In 1972 it became Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game console.

Also, in 1978 Baer created Simon, an electronic pattern-matching game, whose design seems to have been influenced by the colorful musical mother ship from the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Baer died in 2014, and four years later his family and fans unveiled a statue of a charmingly nerdy Ralph sitting on a Manchester park bench, playing with one of the twin-dial consoles of his Brown Box. Ralph is squeezed all the way to the end of the bench, and his legs are crossed away from whoever might sit next to him, probably because he'd rather not be distracted.

Sit With the Father of Video Games

Address:
10 Arms St., Manchester, NH
Directions:
Downtown, on the east bank of the Merrimack River. From Commercial St. turn west onto Stark St. and drive until you reach the river. The statue is on the right, sitting on a bench along the riverwalk.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Grieving Gold Star Mother StatueGrieving Gold Star Mother Statue, Manchester, NH - < 1 mi.
Merci Box CarMerci Box Car, Manchester, NH - < 1 mi.
Old Man of the Mountain Consolation ReplicaOld Man of the Mountain Consolation Replica, Hooksett, NH - 4 mi.
In the region:
Grave of Igloo, Admiral Richard Byrd's Dog, Dedham, MA - 52 mi.

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