February 2

Today, I’m appreciating the work of Jerry Lawson, the first African American game developer!

Mr. Lawson helped to develop the Fairchild Channel F, of which I had, honestly, never heard.

But it turns out that the Fairchild Channel F was the first home video game system with interchangeable games. Meaning that it was around before my brother got that Atari for Christmas when I was a kid!

After leaving Fairchild, Mr. Lawson also started his own video game developer called Videosoft.

You can read more about Mr. Lawson and the system that he helped to develop in this article on biography.com entitled, “Jerry Lawson.” And the article on lifewire.com titled “Jerry Lawson – First Black Video Game Professional.”

 

And for those interested in African Americans in the industry today, I recommend this article from blackenterprise.com, “Top 10 African Americans in the Video Game Industry.” And the article “5 African Americans Making an Impact in the Video Game Industry,” from atlantablackstar.com. While the same people are on both lists, the second link gives much more detail about their accomplishments.

 

Tomorrow: the first African American in space!