Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Jerry Lawson helped lay the groundwork for all modern gaming consoles (arstechnica.com)
99 points by bane on Feb 29, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

A few highlights: Black engineer in Silicon Valley. In 1970. Demolition Derby released months after Pong. Fairchild Channel F console had programmable cartidges and real game AI. Want to know more.

Interesting that Lawson "wasn't very impressed" with Wozniak (or Jobs) when he applied for a job. I'm not clear on the timing, but it sounds like this would have been after they built Breakout for Atari.

These kinds of stories annoy me to no end. This guy happens to black, so therefore we must celebrate him?

How about just celebrating him for what he did. Who cares about his skin pegmentation?

Because he did those things while playing on the 'hard' life difficulty setting.

At any rate, you're presenting a false dichotomy. It's not an either/or proposition. They -are- celebrating what he did; it's all the more impressive that he did it while being black, in a time and place where that was a major obstacle.

He lived in the exact right place for this though. From my point of view he was privileged.

A lot of e.g. white western Europeans would have spent a lot of money to get into this position.

(Note: I am not advocating a handicap system for Europeans! :) )

I bet he would have spent a lot of money to get into that position too. Except he and his family were of very limited means.

Really, if you want to play the "other people have it harder" game, I will readily bow out; of course there are.

But within the confines of "here's someone who had a major influence in his profession", to dismiss his skin color as not being of note, to ignore the additional obstacles society would have placed in front of him, is to deny him some credit for having overcome those obstacles. That's why it's mentioned, that's why it matters. I agree, ideally it wouldn't matter; the fact is is that because to some people being black is a detriment means that being black includes extra obstacles, and it's worth recognizing those who overcome them.

You seem really intent on not getting my point.

My point is that for this particular thing, location is of supreme importance. Skin color is really, really far down on the list.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact