Retro Scan of the Week: “So You Want to Be a Video Games Inventor”

November 5th, 2006 by Benj Edwards
So You Want to Be a Video Games Inventor

So…you’d like to be a Video Games Inventor, eh? Well, sorry, but you have to look like the guy in the lower left. And to do that, you have to go back in time to 1982 and work for Magnavox. By the way, that guy is only twenty years old.

(Ok…the article says 35, but still.)

This scan came from the premiere (Winter 1982) issue of “Odyssey² Adventure Club Magazine,” Magnavox’s official monthly magazine / propaganda pamphlet for Odyssey² fans — sorta like Nintendo Power these days. Actually, “Odyssey² Adventure” is more a newsletter than a magazine, since all the issues I have are only about fifteen pages long. Nonetheless, this article is an amusing look into the world of Odyssey² game developers, straight from the horse’s mouth.

A quick compare-and-contrast of these guys with Atari’s “pot-smoking hippie” game programmer image of the late 1970s and even today’s “early twenties slacker” programmers makes the Odyssey folks look like a bunch of straight-laced leprechaun engineers. Ralph Baer, what hath thou wrought!

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3 Responses to “Retro Scan of the Week: “So You Want to Be a Video Games Inventor””

  1. Ralph H. Baer Says:

    What you didn’t mention in “So you want to be a Game Inventor” is that all of the programmers who ground out Odyssey2 titles would have been out of a job if I hadn’t flown to Tenessee and convinced Magnavox management to turn the O2 program on again after they had decided to cancel it.

    BTW: It’s all in my book “videogames: In the Beginning”


    Ralph H. Baer

  2. RedWolf Says:


    Thanks for the comment. There’s no doubt that Magnavox would not have been anywhere in the video game market without you to begin with, so it’s interesting to hear your tale of preventing O2’s cancellation. Your book sounds like a fascinating read! I guess I’m going to have to get my hands on a copy of it. Thanks again!

  3. BDD Says:

    I know this is old, but it appeared on the front page, so…

    Ed Averett (who appears in the picture with his wife) would concur with Ralph’s statement above. Even Ed had a heck of a time with Philip’s brass during O2’s time (can’t really call it a “heyday”), cranking out game after game (24 in all from him alone) while Philips was constantly trying to shut the O2 down. Read about it at (The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers, Halcyon Days). A great read…

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