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Remembering Jerry Lawson

Same-day in 1977, the home game console Atari 2600 was launched and ultimately revolutionized the game industry. The idea of plugging different game cartridges, like Pac-Man or Space Invaders, into the system, allowing us kids to play video games, was key to Atari and subsequent game consoles. The credit was given to Atari when, in fact, the concept of the game cartridge was first developed by Jerry Lawson in the 1976 game console Channel F. Jerry was one of the very few African Americans in the home computing industry at the time. Similar to all the injustice that our African American brothers and sisters have faced in the past and present, it is unfair to celebrate how Atari made history 43 years ago in the video game consoles and not recognize Jerry Lawson. Thank you, Atari, for changing our lives with the Atari console. Thank you, Jerry, for your amazing invention of the ROM cartridge that made Atari 2600, Nintendo NES, Sega, and all plug and play systems so popular all over the world!

Jerry Lawson

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