As a young tyke, I remember waking up on Saturday mornings and turning on my TV. As I got ready to turn on my Super NES and play another round of Street Fighter 2 (Ken Masters ftw), I would first blow as hard as I could into the video game cartridge, and plop it into the Super NES console, ready to do battle with the enemy. Little did I know, the concept of that video game cartridge was created in the 70s by a black man known as Gerald “Jerry” Lawson.
The idea of the gaming cartridge cannot be stressed enough. Before its invention, gaming engineers only thought you could develop a game inside a console. Remember the phones with the generic snake games? Similar to that. Instead Jerry Lawson created the idea of the portable game. Instead of a game being linked to the console, you could use your cartridge with any video game console from your own, to your friend’s located 100 miles away.
Portability was key and it helped change the industry, making it accessible to the average consumer. What makes his discovery all the more remarkable was the fact that Jerry Lawson was largely self taught. Growing up poor Lawson’s parents committed to giving him a chance, investing heavily in his education. As he grew up he worked for several companies before landing at Fairchild Channel F. At Fairchild, Lawson developed the idea of the gaming cartridge and helped to revolutionize the industry.
Thank you Jerry Lawson for your efforts