Today’s Google Doodle honors Gerald “Jerry” Lawson, who is known as the “Father of Modern Gaming” and led the team that made the first home video game console with game cartridges that could be changed.
On what would have been his 82nd birthday, Google is honoring him with an interactive Doodle.
Today’s (December 1) Google Doodle has five games that players can also edit. The games were made by three American guest artists and game designers.
Davionne Gooden, Lauren Brown, and Momo Pixel all worked with Google Doodle to make games where players have to win coins and avoid enemies on their way to the finish line. Google users can also create their own platform games within the Doodle.
Who Was Gerald “Jerry” Lawson?
Gerald “Jerry” Lawson was born in Brooklyn, New York City, on December 1, 1940.
Lawson experimented with electronics at a young age. The inventive mind could not resist repairing televisions in his neighborhood and constructing his own radio station using recycled components.
Jerry attended Queens College and New York City College.
Then he departed early for Palo Alto, California, to begin his career. He quickly entered the tech company jungle known as “Silicon Valley.”
Jerry Lawson: Career
He arrived in California and began working as an engineering consultant for Fairchild Semiconductor.
After a few years, Lawson was promoted to director of engineering and marketing for the video game department at Fairchild. There, he oversaw the creation of the Fairchild Channel F system.
The Fairchild Channel F System was the first home video game system to have a pause menu, an 8-way digital joystick, and game cartridges that could be switched out. This paved the way for future gaming systems like Atari, SNES, and Dreamcast.
In 1980, he left Fairchild and founded Video soft, one of the earliest black-owned video game development firms. His company created the software for the Atari 2600, and it quickly made the cartridge Lawson that his team developed popular.
Even though the company ceased operations five years later, Jerry was recognized as an industry pioneer. He gave advice to a number of engineering and video game companies for the rest of his career.
What Did His Family Think Of The Doodle?
Google and Lawson’s family worked together to honor their father, and Google is grateful to Anderson and Karen Lawson for their help.
Anderson and Karen wrote on Google that Gerald Anderson Lawson was an engineer who was always interested, thought critically, and solved problems in a logical way. He told us to go beyond our limits and told young people to go into science and technology as careers.
“George Washington Carver inspired him as a child in the 1940s.” That idea gave him the push he needed to want to go into electronics as a career. He did what he loved, and he loved what he did. Considering how hard it was for African-Americans to get jobs at the time, his work was very impressive.
“When the video game market crashed, Our Father’s Story became a footnote in the history of video games.” But over the past few years, he has gotten a lot of attention from awards, scholarships, and the news. Our family will always be grateful to those who worked hard to get his story out there.
“Today, we share with the world what would have been Dad’s 82nd birthday.” We want to thank Google for helping us share the story of our father in this doodle. May his story keep inspiring young people all over the world to do something amazing.
“Dad, You were our provider, our inspiration, our teacher, our creator, our guide, and our friend. We are so proud of you and miss you so much. Your story is known around the world, and you will never be forgotten.
“It’s your birthday, Pop! “We Love You!”