Ralph Baer 100: Come celebrate the “father of video games” on May 21

MANCHESTER, NH – This year marks the centenary of the birth of inventor Ralph Baer. Born in 1922, Ralph Baer is considered the father of video games and has more than 150 patents to his name. He spent most of his career in New Hampshire and called Manchester home for almost 60 years.

On May 21, a community celebration of his legacy will take place at Arms Park in Manchester from 1 p.m., followed by activities at the SEE Science Center from 2:30 p.m. This celebration is organized by the SEE Science Center and is presented by BAE Systems and supported by XMA powered by Omni Spectra and Skymap.

The Arms Park event will feature speakers highlighting Ralph’s impact on the world of video games while celebrating local innovation. There will be an unveiling of a new plaque for the Ralph Baer statue and a preview of upcoming additions to Arms Park. Food trucks will be at the park from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. before the start of the event. Speakers will include Mayor of Manchester Joyce Craig, Art Molella, Founding Director of the Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian American History Museum, Mark Baer, ​​Ralph’s Son, Jodie Nazka Manchester Economic Development Director and more.

Starting at 2 p.m., admission to the SEE Science Center will be free. There will be drop-in family activities, speakers and demonstrations by PREMIER® Robotics Team 6763 Merger of Manchester School of Technology and Manchester MakerSpace. There will also be a meeting of artists during the closing of the Video Game Art exhibition currently presented at SEE.

A full schedule is below:

Arms Park Program 12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Food Truck Social Hour

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Speakers, presentations and unveiling

  • Sponsor BAE Welcomes Kerry Creeden, Director of Hardware Engineering
  • Lenny Herman, author
  • Mayor Joyce Craig
  • Art Molella, founding director of the Lemelson Center, Smithsonian’s American History Museum
  • Julie Demers, NH Tech Alliance – The Future of Tech in New Hampshire
  • Mark Baer, ​​Ralph’s son
  • Plaque unveiling with Heather McGrail, Chair and Chief Executive of the Greater Manchester Chamber and Mark and James Baer, ​​sons of Ralph
  • Arm’s Park Stairs Sneak Peak with Manchester Economic Development Director Jodie Nazka and artist James Chase

SEE Science Center 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Free admission for the public from 2 p.m.

3 to 4:30 p.m. Family activities without an appointment
pixel art creation
Circuits of modeling clay

FIRST Robotics Team 6763 Fusion from Manchester School of Technology & Manchester MakerSpace will introduce visitors to robotics.

3:15 p.m. What does it mean to be an Innovator?
Arthur Daemmrich, director of the Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum

3:45 p.m. Innovation process
Bob Pelovitz, colleague of Ralph Baer

4 p.m.
Exhibition Closing reception for the video game art exhibition and opportunity to speak with the artists.

About Ralph Baer

Ralph Baer (1922-2014) was an engineer and inventor with over 150 patents. Its “brown box” controller became the original prototype for the first video game. He was born to a Jewish family in Germany who fled to the United States in 1938. He later served in the United States Army during World War II. He began his engineering career in New York and moved to Manchester, NH in 1955 where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. He has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the US National Medal of Technology. His studio is on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

About SEE Science Center

The SEE Science Center is a hands-on science discovery center located at 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, NH 03101. Our mission is to engage our community in the joyful and active exploration of science and innovation. Visit our website for current hours. Admission is $10 per person ages 3 and up. SEE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.