As much as retailers push the start, December 1st still seems to mark the beginning of Christmas for most folks. Whilst tracking down that first day’s gift for your true love, you may end up on Google. The team responsible for Google’s Daily Doodle uses today’s doodle to bring gamers (geeks) worldwide attention to a monumental man in most of our lives. One responsible for a gift that truly never stops giving. No not that mutant, this was “just” a man – though his achievement is a modern miracle. On December 1, 1940 the man who is known as the “father of the video game cartridge” was born.
Gerald Anderson Lawson was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York City. His intelligence as a youth indicated Lawson was obviously a techie, but his interest at the time was radio. If not for a job with a new medium, Gerald may have been the “father of streaming” instead.
Lawson would join Fairchild Semiconductor in 1970, working in their sales division. However, soon he would move to the video game division of Fairchild. As Chief Hardware Engineer, as well as Director of Engineering and Marketing, Lawson led the development of the Fairchild Channel F home console. This release was historic since the Fairchild Channel F introduced a revolutionary feature to the gaming world. Prior to the Channel F’s release in 1976, games – or specifically the programs – were not a seperate entity from the system; everything hardwired. With his team, Lawson refined the ROM cartridge technology available at that time.. This leads to what gamers enjoy today, a library of content with the “need” for only one(?) major console.
The gaming world would lose Gerald Lawson in April 2011.
So in his honor, before you head off to order your next game, stop on the google home page. A click takes you to a retro console interface to sample some titles similar to those on the Channel F.
Take a minute, come on and get happy. Discover why the Partridges needed a bus. After Gerald Lawson changed how the game is played, one pear tree wasn’t big enough.