Today’s Google Doodle celebrates 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.
The Doodle is complete with a variety of different games, and a level editor that allows you to design your own games to honour ne of the fathers of modern gaming.
Here’s what you need to know and why he features on the Google Doodle today.
Gerald “Jerry” Lawson Google Doodle
Born on December 1, 1940, Lawson was a pioneer for video games. Lawson was the Director of Engineering and Marketing of Fairchild’s video game department where he led the development of the Fairchild Channel F system, the first home video game system console that featured interchangeable game cartridges and an 8-way digital joystick and a pause menu. The Channel F paved the way for future gaming systems like the Atari, SNES, Dreamcast and more.
In 1980, Lawson left Fairchild to start his own company, VideoSoft—one of the earliest Black-owned video game development companies. The company created software for the Atari 2600, which popularized the cartridge Lawson and his team developed.
Google Doodle honours a video game pioneer
Lawson was one of the very first African Americans to ever work in the video game industry, and changed the way video games were made. He was honoured as an industry pioneer by the International Game Developers Association in March 2011 but would pass away shortly after.
Lawson Fund to support underrepresented students who wish to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees in game design or computer science. Lawson’s achievements are memorialized at the World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.
Today’s Doodle takes users into a retro video game interface, where you’ll start out by controlling a character and learn a little bit about Lawson’s history and influence as you move through a simple video game level, before being able to edit and add to your game.