What is on today's google homepage? Gerald "Jerry" Lawson's 82nd Birthday

Google Doodle Celebrate Gerald "Jerry" Lawson's 82 Birthday

Google Doodle Celebrate Gerald "Jerry" Lawson's 82 Birthday

Gerald "Jerry" Lawson, one of the pioneers of contemporary gaming who led the team that built the first home video gaming system with replaceable game cartridges, would have turned 82 today. Davionne Gooden, Lauren Brown, and Momo Pixel are three American guest artists and game creators that contributed to the Doodle.

On this day in 1940, Lawson was born in Brooklyn, New York. He began tinkering with electronics at a young age, fixing televisions in his neighbourhood and building his own radio station out of salvaged components. He attended Queens College and City College of New York before moving to Palo Alto, California, to begin his profession. The city and its surrounding region had become known as "Silicon Valley" at the time due to the influx of new, creative tech enterprises.

Lawson began working as an engineering consultant for Fairchild Semiconductor after landing in California. Lawson was moved to Director of Engineering and Marketing of Fairchild's video game section a few years later, where he oversaw the creation of the Fairchild Channel F system (the "F" stood for fun!). The first home video game system console with replaceable game cartridges, an 8-way digital joystick, and a pause menu. The Channel F paved the way for subsequent game systems such as the Atari, SNES, and Dreamcast.

Lawson left Fairchild in 1980 to found VideoSoft, one of the first Black-owned video game production firms. The firm developed software for the Atari 2600, which popularised the cartridge built by Lawson and his crew. Although they dissolved five years later, Lawson had established himself as an industry pioneer and proceeded to advise with several technical and video game firms for the remainder of his career.

Lawson was named an industry pioneer by the International Game Developers Association in 2011 for his contributions to gaming. The Gerald A. Lawson Fund was also established at the University of Southern California to assist minority students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in game design or computer science. The World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York honours Lawson's accomplishments.

Jerry, here's to you!