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Father of Video Games Ralph Baer Donates Key Documents to Museum

Father of Video Games Ralph Baer Donates Key Documents to Museum  (photo)

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One of the pains of the saga of the modern video game industry is how so many of its early movers and shakers have gone into obscurity after their achievements helped evolve the business of electronic play. While people remember and still use cartridges to load games on some platforms (like the Nintendo DS and 3DS), most would be hard pressed to name Gerry Lawson as the man who created that particular software delivery innovation.

Ralph Baer won’t have that problem. The person responsible for laying the groundwork for the home consoles of today will have his early designs and documents on display at the International Center for the History of Electronic Games. Baer’s donating original diagrams, patents and other paperwork that accrued during his four decades working with electronic games. He’s best known for the Magnavox Odyssey, the first machine that le folks play video games on their TV sets an Baer also invented the electronic memory game Simon.

Along with the selection of Baer’s papers, ICHEG will have a working prototype of the 1968 Brown Box, the clunky wire-filled enclosures that later got refined into the Odyssey. They’ll all be on display at the Rochester-based organozation’s home, which is part of the Strong, an educational institution centered on the idea of play. It’s fitting the work of a man who changed how generations of people play is at the Strong. Harold Goldberg put this way in his history of video games “All Your Base Are Belong to Us“:

Ralph Baer remained strong because he knew in his gut that games would soon become part of our collective consciousness… Ralph Baer was the seer, a quiet Nostradamus. Every idea he laid out on paper came to fruition in the future.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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