Gerald A. Lawson, the man credited with creating interchangeable video game cartridges, died at 70 from complications to diabetes. Lawson, while leading the video game division at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1976, developed the Fairchild Channel F, the first video game console that allowed for removable cartridge video games. This new system revolutionized the concept of home video games, as up until that point each device sold contained only one game, much like an arcade machine.
So, let me get this straight, this guy helped create the idea of home gaming on a single console 35 years ago and I just now know his name? I feel robbed. That's like just finding out some guy named Henry Ford had a couple of good ideas about how automobiles should be produced. How come this culture straight up denies the heroes of today? Oh, yeah, let us learn about the racist old white guy and the cars he built, but not the electronics pioneers that lead the way for how we live our lives today? Bullshit.
Think about it: First, there were computers and rudimentary game consoles. Then, Lawson and his team create interchangeable cartridges and companies like Atari and Nintendo ran with that. About twenty years later, people start going to discs, like the Playstation, first CD and then DVD. Ten years after that, we can download entire games, movies and more to our consoles, from the Xbox Live Marketplace to the apps on your iPhone. Cloud services like Amazon's have already opened up the way for playing applications on the fly without the need of a single console.
Do you know when Mr. Gerald A. Lawson first received a pat on the back for his contributions? Last month. Unbelievable.