Why Were Video Games Invented?

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Engineer Ralph H. Baer worked for a television manufacturer and came up with the idea to incorporate an electronic video game into a TV set to increase sales. The company rejected his plan, but Baer eventually developed a prototype console in 1967.

Baer became chief engineer of Sanders Associates, and with the help of William T. Rusch and William H. Harrison, he created the first prototype that could be connected to a standard TV. By 1968, the team had produced “Brown Box” and created several basic interactive games, including Checkers and Chase Game. In 1971, Baer partnered with Magnavox to create the Odyssey console, which included paddle controls and screen overlays for false-color visuals.