Google is back with yet another heartfelt Google Doodle.
Celebrating Black Innovation
On Dec. 1, the search engine celebrated the life of Gerald “Jerry” Lawson, who’s described as “one of the fathers of modern gaming,” according to Google’s blog post. It marks what would’ve been the electronic engineer’s 82nd birthday.
The Team Behind The Design
The homepage’s interactive video game was designed by Davionne Gooden, Lauren Brown, and Momo Pixel. The interactive video game takes players on a journey of learning about how Lawson contributed to what the gaming industry is today.
Jerry Lawson's History
As previously reported by AfroTech, Lawson found his deep love for electronics during his early school years in Queens, NY. The young wiz repaired TVs, made walkie-talkies, and created his own radio station out of recycled parts.
After graduating from college, he moved to Silicon Valley to jumpstart his tech career.
“Upon arriving in California, Lawson joined Fairchild Semiconductor as an engineering consultant,” Google wrote. “A few years later, Lawson was promoted to Director of Engineering and Marketing of Fairchild’s video game department where he led the development of the Fairchild Channel F system (the “F” stood for fun!). This was the first home video game system console that featured interchangeable game cartridges, 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.”
After spearheading the creation of the first video game cartridge, Lawson went on to leave Fairchild in 1980 and launch VideoSoft — which was one of the earliest Black-owned video game development companies — the blog post details.
Lawson’s children, Anderson and Karen Lawson also worked with the tech giant to honor the innovator’s legacy in the industry.
“Today, we celebrate what would’ve been Dad’s 82nd birthday with the world. We would like to thank Google for working with us to share our father’s story in this Doodle. May his story continue to inspire numerous young people around the globe to achieve something remarkable,” Lawson’s children shared in a statement.