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Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Gerald “Jerry” Lawson’s 82nd birthday with an interactive and accessible game.
Lawson is the father of modern gaming, having led the team that developed the first home video game system with interchangeable cartridges.
As reported by Antara on Thursday (1/12/2022), the doodle features games designed by three American artists and game designers, Davionne Gooden, Lauren Brown and Momo Pixel.
Lawson was born on December 1, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. From an early age he tinkered with electronics, repaired televisions and built his own radio station from recycled components.
He studied at Queens College and the City College of New York before starting his career in Palo Alto, California. At the time, the city and surrounding region was becoming known as “Silicon Valley” due to the explosion of innovative technology companies being created in the area.
Simply Amazing! A Tribute to Gerald Jerry Lawson Game : Check Here
After arriving in California, Lawson joined Fairchild Semiconductor as an engineering consultant. A few years later, Lawson was named director of engineering and marketing for Fairchild’s video game division and led the development of the Fairchild Channel F system.
It was the first home video game console to include interchangeable game cartridges, an 8-way digital joystick and a pause menu. The Channel F paved the way for future game systems such as Atari, SNES, Dreamcast and others.
Lawson left Fairchild in 1980 to start his own company. VideoSoft was one of the first black-owned video game companies.
Lawson and his team developed the company, creating software for the Atari 2600 that popularized cartridges.
Although it closed five years later, Lawson established himself as a pioneer in the industry and continued to advise engineering and video game companies for the rest of his career.
In 2011, Lawson was recognized by the International Game Developers Association as an industry pioneer for his contributions to the gaming industry.
The University of Southern California has also established the Gerald A. Lawson Foundation for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in game design or computer science.
Lawson’s achievements are enshrined in the World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.
Lawson’s children, Anderson and Karen Lawson, also participated in today’s Doodle. They shared their thoughts in a joint statement.
“Today we join the world in celebrating their father’s 82nd birthday. We would like to thank Google for partnering with us to tell our father’s story in this Doodle. May his story continue to inspire many young people around the world to achieve something exceptional,” they said.
“Dad, you are our motivator, teacher, inventor, mentor and friend. We are so proud of you and miss you. The planet knows your story and you will never be forgotten.” – they added.
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