You may not know the name Jerry Lawson, but if you've ever put a game cartridge into a video game console, you owe him a debt.
The man who originally designed the system for placing and removing software cartridges, Jerry Lawson, has sadly passed away of a heart attack and complications from diabetes at the age of 70. The man originally designed a cartridge system for the Fairchild Computer System in the 70s that was later adopted by nearly every video game hardware manufacturer until the time that CDs, DVDs and other optical media took over as the media of choice for gaming hardware.
Ironically enough, while Lawson gave gamers worldwide the gift of swapping games in their systems, he wasn't much of a gamer himself. Lawson was once quoted as saying "I don't play video games that often; I really don't. First of all, most of the games that are out now -- I'm appalled by them. They're all scenario games considered with shooting somebody and killing somebody. To me, a game should be something like a skill you should develop -- if you play this game, you walk away with something of value. That's what a game is to me."
His contirbutions to invention and technology go way beyond just designed swappable cartridges. According to a family friend David Erhart, Lawson "continued building devices to control telescopes, lasers, tools, etc. up until the day he went to the hospital. His workbench had more tools than most people would even know what to do with. He taught me quite a bit and I'll miss him sorely."
We here at GamingExcellence salute a technological pioneer. If you happen to have a working cartridge based system at your house, give it a blow in honour of Jerry Lawson.