Google Doodle honored gaming pioneer Gerald “Jerry” Lawson Thursday — on what would have been his 82nd birthday — with an interactive game for site visitors to play.
Considered one of the fathers of modern gaming, Lawson helped to develop the first home video gaming system with interchangeable game cartridges, and even founded his own company, Video Soft, in the early 1980s, which became one of the earliest Black-owned video game development companies, according to Google.
“He loved what he did and did what he loved,” his children Anderson and Karen Lawson wrote in a statement. “Considering the obvious challenges for African-Americans at the time, his professional achievements were quite remarkable.”
Lawson died in 2011, but that same year he was recognized by the International Game Developers Association as an industry trailblazer for his contributions to gaming. His achievements have also been memorialized at the World Video Game Hall of Fame in New York, Google said.
“We would like to thank Google for working with us to share our father’s story in this Doodle,” Lawson’s children said. “May his story continue to inspire numerous young people around the globe to achieve something remarkable.”