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An Historic Video Game Donation To 'The Strong'

The Strong museum is receiving a donation of historic video games and artifacts. The family of Gerald Lawson, who died in 2011, and has been called the “father of the video game cartridge” has donated a collection of materials chronicling Lawson’s contributions to the video game industry.

Lawson, one of the first African American engineers in the world of electronics, worked on the Fairchild Channel F video game system, which was the first home console with removable game cartridges.

Lawson moved from Queens, New York, to California’s Silicon Valley in the 1970s to work for Fairchild Semiconductor. There he created one of the earliest examples of a microprocessor coin-operated game—Demolition Derby. It was after this invention that Fairchild put Lawson in charge of the video game division.

The materials are being donated to The Strong’s International center for the History of Electronic Games.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.