If you head over to the Google search page on the internet today (Google.com), you’ll be greeted with one of their most interesting icon replacements yet: a game builder. It’s a tribute to Jerry Lawson.
But this time around, Google is paying tribute to Gerald ‘Jerry’ Lawson, the person who led the team that created the first video game cartridge.
Jerry Lawson was one of the first black engineers to work in the video game industry. He worked at Fairchild Semiconductor as an engineering consultant and led the development of the F System (in 1979), the first console to come with cartridges. It paved the way for the Atari, SNES and Dreamcast.
He later left Fairchild Semiconductor to start his own company, VideoSoft, where he and his employees created software for the Atari 2600 (which also used cartridges similar to those developed by Lawson back at Fairchild Semiconductor).
Timeskip to today and most games don’t use cartridges anymore (unless you buy physical games for the Nintendo Switch). Lawson’s work on the first cartridge was revolutionary for portable and interchangeable storage, but now we’ve moved on from analogue cartridges.
Google brought on board three black guest artists for the game: Lauren Brown, Davionne Gooden and Momo Pixel, all helping the Google Doodles team work on the game.
What is the game? You decide. It’s a game builder, built into the Google search banner. You make the fun.
There are several example games, including an adventure game where you help a butterfly navigate through a maze and one where you jump up through several platforms, but also the option to build a game all by yourself (based on the art created by the guest artists).
It’s a lot of fun and if you’re looking for a time-waster today, I recommend it.
I love how Google does this stuff. If you’re interested in diving into more cool Google features, we’ve got an article on that.
The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans
It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.