Two video game icons will receive the 2015 Pioneer Award from The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. The award is given to individuals who have made significant advancements in the video game industry, and this year will be presented to Ralph Baer and Al Alcorn.
Alcorn was the chief engineer of the classic arcade game Pong, which introduced the concept of video games to a generation that never had them before. Pong was also a main driving force for the Atari VCS home console. Bear, who passed December 7, 2014, is the man who invented the first video game system that became the Magnavox Odyssey. Bear was also honored last month after his passing, at 92-years-old, for his contributions and efforts for the medium as a whole.
Rich Hilleman, chief creative director at EA, will be presenting this year awards. “Ralph and Al are the very definition of Pioneers,” said Hilleman. “Every publisher, every developer, every platform and all of the billions of players in the world stand on their sturdy shoulders. I am one of many who owe nearly all of what I have done to the remarkable talent and vision of these two giants. And, while Ralph is no longer with us, he was aware of this award and I know he was honored to be receiving this recognition from his peers. It will be one of my greatest pleasures to see Baer and Alcorn, these two visionary lights, join our Pioneers.”
The ceremony is schedule to take place at the DICE awards in Las Vegas on February 5 where Bear’s grandsons and son will receive the award on his behalf. Alcon and Bear will join other video game industry icons like David Crane, Activision co-founder and creator of Pitfall, and Ed Logg, designer Centipede and Asteroids, who have also received the Pioneer Award.