Hannigan, Kate

Blips on a Screen: How Ralph Baer Invented TV Video Gaming and Launched a Worldwide Obsession

(2) K-3 Illustrated by Zachariah OHora. To today's young readers, a video game played on a television screen probably seems like something that's existed forever, but this picture-book biography introduces readers to the individual to whom all gamers owe a debt of gratitude. After fleeing Nazi Germany as a teenager, Rudolf Baer changed his first name to Ralph and used his talent for electronics to work as a radio operator during World War II. After the war, Baer studied early television technology and became a military engineer. He first conceived of his TV video game idea in 1966 and spent the next five years experimenting, testing, and prototyping his invention. Hannigan's (A Lady Has the Floor) text conveys Baer's determination and relentlessness as he works through multiple iterations of his video game box. OHora's recognizable acrylic paint illustrations (Goodnight Veggies, rev. 3/20; Dogs at Work, rev. 9/21), using a limited palette of yellow and blue contrasting with subdued greens, reds, and pinks, help set the story in its historical context. Back matter includes photos, four pages of questions and answers about Baer and his work, a timeline, and a list of resources.


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