Is playing video games one of your favourite stay-at-home activities? Well, you have Ralph Baer to thank! He was a German-American engineer who had an amazing idea in 1966: to create a game that people could play on their televisions. He and his team developed something they named the Brown Box and sold it to a company called Magnavox. In 1972, their invention was released as the first ever video game system, called Odyssey!
The Odyssey was very simple compared to today's fancy gaming systems. It could only display three white squares on the screen. There was no sound, and people could only see colours by sticking a plastic sheet over their TV screens. The console came with twelve games, including hockey, table tennis and skiing. This might not sound very exciting to us, but back then, this invention was groundbreaking! Watch this promotional video from 1972 to see how the Odyssey looked. Talk about retro!
Nowadays, video games are a billion dollar industry and so much fun to play, and we owe it all to Ralph Baer and his Brown Box!