Back in October 2009, IG uploaded the 2nd part of his History of Video Games series, covering the Magnavox Odyssey. It was full of inaccurate information and needless references. Annoyed by this, vicviper592 sent Ralph Baer an e-mail showing him the video. Baer responded saying "it's full of inaccurate information".You can see that e-mail here: http://irategamersucks.blogspot.com/2009/10/ralph-baer-has-seen-odyssey-video.html
A day after I put up that post, Bores wrote on his site that Ralph Baer responded to him. Chris claimed he was honored and that Baer "didn't understand it". Outright insulting the pioneer.
http://www.theirategamer.com/news.htm Read under "10-18-09".
Time passes. The other day Bores uploaded that "Making-Of" documentary going on about how much research and work went into it and how he received e-mails from college professors. That last line was the final straw. I myself sent Ralph Baer an e-mail, asking for his detailed thoughts on the Odyssey video.
Here's a screen-cap of his response.
So with a little prodding from me and the knowledge that Bores insulted him, Mr. Baer wrote a response to the videos. I'll post what was said here. I'll also remind you that I did not edit any of this. This is all Ralph Baer's words.
Comments re. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgAbLUTb0Lg
and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnocN1dE5QQ
re. "Ralph Baer spent a few years building a prototype of his idea"
Fact: I had the idea on 3/31/66 and wrote a 4-page paper describing the whole scene on 4/1/66. A year and a half of part-time work with Bill Harrison, a technician and a few months of assistance by Bill Rusch, an MIT graduate engineer, and the Brown Box played ping-pong, volley ball, handball, light gun games, etc. All of the documents generated (several thousand) during that period starting with the 4-page document can be found by anyone at
re. Magnavox..."they also filed patents on his technology"...Wrong: Sanders Associates filed all videogame patents for the simple reason that I worked there (I was a division manager there with some 600 engineers, techs and support people in my division, none of whom worked on anything whatsoever that had to do with videogames. All patent applications, prosecutions etc. were funded by Sanders and worked on by Baer and by members of Sanders' patent department.
......"any company going into the videogame business had to pay royalties to Magnavox..." Wrong: The lawsuits were not about "videogames" in general but about games that contained game action in which machine-controlled symbols on-screen interacted with manually-controlled symbols (like the ball and the paddles in a ping-pong game)....in the early and mid-seventies, virtually all home and arcade games had that game action and were subject to license and were subject to being sued if they didn't take a license.
...Magnavox began producing the Odyssey...and as you can see, the console is very crude in design"....says who? It's actually very nice looking and a typical 1970's design.
At 01.56...the swearing begins...for no good reason...and his criticism of the cables and the RF antenna switch box (which had to meet FCC interference specs) is all just so much ranting and raving. What he completely ignores (or just doesn't know because he is too young) is that the only way for a videogame signal to enter a current TV set was through the antenna terminals...there were no video or cable connections on 1970 and 1980 TV sets.....a situation which I complained about as early as 1972 when I told Magnavox that if they made access via an RCA jack to the first video amplifier in their TV set. I could give them a whole new set of novel products to plug in there....but they didn't want to add 5 cents to their product cost.
At 03:04 he says: "When a card is plugged into the Odyssey card it actually creates new command codes..." What command codes ?...there is no microprocessor involved....micrprocessors didn't appear on the scene until many years later. What the cards actually do is to interconnect various logic circuits inside the Odyssey in different ways so as to produce different games. He shows a large circuit board in the background that is full of logic IC's. That board may represent what was in the mid-seventies arcade games ( like a hundred dollar's worth of IC's) but it has nothing to do with what is in an Odyssey, namely about 40 transistors, 20-odd diodes and a lot of resistors and capacitors, typical of the components in then-current TV sets, so that a TV manufacturer could handle the product on existing production lines.
At 03:44 he completely ignores the use of the English control which determines the ball's vertical trajectory. Without the use of that control, there is no game. He also ignores the fact that there is a Speed control at the back of the unit so that both novice and experienced players can have challenging games.....this business of "falling off the end of the screen" is total nonsense...he just didn't bother to read to Instruction Book or to explore what that third (concentric) English knob is for at the left side of the hand-controller.
At 04:08 he laments the lack of scoring....that was just not practical for a consumer product at the time. besides, we all have played ping-pong and other ball games since time immemorial by shouting out the score as we went
along.....so who needed on-screen scores?
At 04:27 he runs into some glitches and doesn't realize that he has an ancient device that undoubtedly has badly corroded contact fingers on the card and the connector in the Odyssey...a typical Odyssey problem. He doesn't seem to know that all connectors in old equipment are subject to this problem and that it can often be resolved by running an eraser over the contacts to get rid of the accumulated oxidation.
At 04:42 he starts ranting about "you can do anything you want....". Since when does anyone play tennis or ping-pong or handball etc. without agreed-upon game rules beforehand. You just don't move into your opponents field (over the net), etc...this is really dumb stuff...
Around 05:14 he shows "HAL" on-screen. He apparently uses one of the white spots of a chase game, covers the screen with a black overlay and inserts a red glassine window to color the spot...very creative, but irrelevant to a discussion of the Odyssey game.
At 05:39 he starts to make silly remarks about the overlays that were optional for most games but actually lent a lot of color and relevance to such games as the light-gun (shooting) games and others intended for small children.
Re. his description of all of the rest of the accessories (cards, chips, play money, etc.) he is basically correct. I doubt whether many people actually played with those things )ping-pong being the universal game played by everybody..it needs no overlay). Thhe packaging of these items with the Odyssey game just reflected Magmavox' management doubt about the validity of honest-to-goodness on-screen games.
Why he feels it necessary to swear is beyond me.
He then berates the simple games addressed at preschoolers....enough said.
This guy has obvious talents...he knows how to put a good-looking video presentation on-screen. Now if he had just done it without the unnecessary vulgarity, stopped making faces and got some of his "facts" straight, this would be a presentation with a lot of interesting historical information, presented in a fun way.
Ralph H. Baer
There we go Chris. Facts from the man himself. Many of which could be found through proper research.
This also goes back to the fact that Mr. Baer did not like Chris' video, despite what he claims.
I would like to see Bores try and talk his way out of this one.