Jerry Lawson dubbed “father of the videogame cartridge” was a total tech purist.
Gerald Anderson Lawson, aka Jerry, lived and breathed anything and everything tech.
From his early beginnings, his interest in electronics as a youth led him to operate his own ham radio, and fix all of the neighbourhood television sets as a side hustle.
He was also an enthused member of the Homebrew Computer Club in Silicon Valley, of which Steve Jobs was a member. The two would spend hours talking about gadgets.
The most significant thing about Lawson was the fact that he literally changed video games forever. Here are five quick facts about the OG game and tech developer.
1. Lawson was a self-taught engineer
2. The original geek: Lawson was in the ‘The Homebrew Computer Club’
3. Lawson produced one of the industry’s earliest arcade games (Demolition Derby made its debut in a southern California pizzeria)
4. He invented the video game cartridge and set the standard for how video games were played for the next 30 years. The cartridges were sold separately, unlike previous games that were built into the hardware.
5. He designed the first 8-way joystick and the “pause” button