While we focus on PlayStation at Push Square, it’s always important to remember the origins of the industry we love – after all, without trend-setters like Atari, Nintendo, and SEGA, we doubt Sony would have ever even entered the space. One person who played an important role in helping to establish the medium as we know it is Gerald ‘Jerry’ Lawson, who sadly passed away in 2011, but would be 82-years-old today.
Lawson worked at Fairchild Semiconductors, and ended up designing one of the earliest examples of a coin-op arcade cabinet in his garage. He’d later go on to lead production on the Fairchild Channel F games console, which pioneered the concept of interchangeable cartridges. The idea was that you could swap in different video games at your own discretion, using a slot on the front of the machine. The format would obviously be later expanded upon by machines like the Atari 2600 and Nintendo Entertainment System.
And a new Google Doodle celebrates the life of Lawson by allowing you to build your own mini arcade games. You can create a side-scroller or a top-down adventure, using pre-built pieces to construct your own level designs. It’s fairly simplistic, and largely just a vehicle to teach you more about Lawson’s life, but we thought it was a fun idea – and it’s always good to see the pioneers of the industry celebrated like this.