Gerald “Jerry” Lawson, one of the fathers of modern gaming who led the team
San Francisco: Gerald “Jerry” Lawson, one of the fathers of modern gaming who led the team that developed the first home video gaming system with interchangeable game cartridges, is the subject of today’s Google Doodle.
Jerry Lawson was born in Brooklyn, New York, who later attended Queens College and City College of New York before departing early to start his career in Palo Alto, California.
Upon arriving in California, Lawson joined Fairchild Semiconductor as an engineering consultant.
A few years later, Lawson was promoted to Director of Engineering and Marketing for Fairchild’s video game division, where he led the development of the “Fairchild Channel F” system — the first home video game system console that featured interchangeable game cartridges.
Lawson left Fairchild in 1980 to find VideoSoft, one of the first black-owned video game development companies.
The company developed software for the Atari 2600, which popularised the cartridge developed by Lawson and his team.
Although the company closed five years later, Lawson had established himself as an industry pioneer and continued to consult with numerous engineering and video game companies for the rest of his career.
In 2011, the International Game Developers Association recognised Lawson as an industry trailblazer for his contributions to gaming.
Lawson died in 2011 following complications from diabetes.
His achievements are memorialised at the World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.