“Dieter: Just came across your website…very nice! Would you mind telling me who or what you are: A business ? An individual ? I am Ralph H. Baer, the ‘father’ of the video game industry…yes, I’m still around! If you are interested in video game history, contact me. English or German…either will do. RHB”
This is an email that I received on the 2nd December 1998, exactly sixteen years ago! First I thought someone was kidding me, but soon I learned that Ralph had contacted other video game collectors and institutions too. We developed an intense email conversation that went on for many years. Ralph had fascinating stories to tell and allowed me to publish a part of his forthcoming book on my website. He even invited me to his place in New Hampshire several times in the early 2000s, but unfortunately I didn’t have the money to fly to the USA back then. It is a pity that I never was able to meet him in person.
Ralph Baer passed away on the night of December 6, 2014 in his home.
What I will cherish is a signed copy of his book “Videogames In The Beginning” and a signed copy of his never released Pinball game for the Odyssey2.
Without Ralph Baer, my life since 1982 would have been a completely different one, with much less fun, much less excitement. And I wouldn’t have met many great people.
So thank you very much Ralph, and R.I.P.