Video game technology, inventor center stage at Entrepreneur of the Year AwardsStaff report
May 23. 2018 11:53PM
MANCHESTER — The New Hampshire High Tech Council will present an old-school salute to video game technology June 13.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Nashua will honor the New Hampshire inventor celebrated as the father of home video games and include a keynote address from the creator of Ms. Pac-Man.
Ralph H. Baer will receive a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award. In the mid-1960s, Baer and a small group of engineers at Sanders Associates, which later became BAE Systems, pioneered video game technology. They eventually licensed the technology to Magnavox, which produced and marketed the Odyssey in 1972, the world’s first video game console.
“As we mark the 30th anniversary of our Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, we wanted to do something special, and honoring Ralph Baer immediately came to mind,” said Matt Benson, the Council’s EOY committee chair. “His groundbreaking work not only helped shape the now-global gaming industry, but continues to touch countless people of all ages who enjoy playing video games right in the comfort of their own homes.”
Baer worked as an engineer and inventor after escaping Nazi Germany and fighting in World War II. He lived briefly in New York, but moved to New Hampshire in the mid-1950s, where he lived until his death in 2014 at age 92.
A fundraising campaign is underway in Manchester to honor Baer with a bench and sculpture of his likeness in the Millyard.
In keeping with the video game theme, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards will feature a keynote address from Ms. Pac-Man creator Steve Golson. From 1981 through 1985, Golson worked for General Computer of Cambridge (GCC) in Massachusetts designing video games. He completed the hardware design for GCC’s arcade enhancement kits Super Missile Attack and Crazy Otto, which eventually became Midway’s Ms. Pac-Man.
The council also will partner at the event with modern-day video game developers Game Assembly, who will provide attendees with an interactive gaming experience on modern-day laptops, along with a “throwback” experience featuring a gaming console with games from the past three decades, and an opportunity to test a virtual reality simulator.
Tickets for the 30th annual Entrepreneur of the Year are $45 for Council members and $65 for nonmembers. The event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Register at www.nhhtc.org.