Google Doodle honored game pioneer Gerald “Jerry” Lawson on Thursday – on what would have been his 82nd birthday – with an interactive game that site visitors can play.
Considered one of the fathers of modern gaming, Lawson helped develop the first home video game system with interchangeable game cartridges, and even founded his own company, Video Soft, in the early 1980s, which became one of the first black-owned video games. 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. “Given the obvious challenges for African Americans at the time, his professional accomplishments were nothing short of remarkable.”
Lawson died in 2011, but the same year he was recognized by the International Game Developers Association as an industry pioneer for his contributions to gaming. His accomplishments were also commemorated 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,” the Lawson kids said. “May her story continue to inspire many young people around the world to achieve something remarkable.”