Before XBox, before Playstation, before Sega, even before Atari, there was the Magnavox Odyssey, the world's first game console. It was the work of Ralph Baer, an inventor who developed it in 1966 for a defense industry company that developed electronics, and by 1971 Magnavox had licensed it. Some of you weren't even born then, but that was the first brick laid in the road towards your white-knuckled Call of Duty sessions.
Back then the concept of an electronic game console was so new that the company had to print "Works on any television set, black and white or color" on the box, because people figured it would only work if connected to a Magnavox television. And while Atari later came out and familiarized more consumers with console gaming, it was Baer's Odyssey and the 350,000 units it moved that were undeniably first.
Amazingly, Baer—now 90 years old and still sharp as a whip—is still inventing! In this short video from PBS Digital Studios' "Inventors" series, Baer tells the sobering story of why he continues to work.
The man still solders, for chrissakes! I'm 42 and can't touch a soldering iron if I've had too much coffee that day.