In honor of game pioneer Gerald Lawson, Microsoft makes a financial commitment to the USC Games Fund for Black and indigenous students. The contribution will contribute to creating the Gerald A. Lawson Students’ Fund at USC Games, which abides ranked No. 1 university game for 11 years in a row. Matt Booty, head of the Xbox Game Studios at Microsoft, says in a statement that the business is happy to work with USC Games to make games successful for underrepresented communities.

The University of Southern California Games has stated that the institution has announced that Microsoft is the latest donor for the Gerald A. Lawson Endowment Fund for Negro-Indigenous Students. In May 2021 the USC set up the Fund with Take-Two as their start-up supporter to aid poor and marginalized students to create their own gaming and computer science goals. So I’ll discuss all the announcements of Microsoft towards the USC Games Program in this blog. Therefore, start to finish read this carefully.

Activities of innovators


Gerald “Jerry” Lawson, a namesake of the fund, is responsible for use of interchangeable ROM (read-only memory) cartridges’ for game consoles during the development of a system called the Fairchild Channel -F. A member of the famed ” Homebrew Computer Club,” which featured Apple Founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Therefore, he was also one of the few Black Engineers in the gaming sector during their founding period. At that Game Developer Conference in 2018, Microsoft honored Lawson.

A month before he died, the Interactive Game Developers Association hailed him to be an industry pioneer (IGDA). His accomplishments are permanently displayed in the World Video GameHall of Fame at the Strong National Play Museum in Rochester, New York. In 2019, he earned Id@Xbox Gaming Heroes Award at The Independent Games Festival. His wife, Catherine, and two adult kids, Karen and Anderson, survive and tell the narrative of early video games’ developers in High Score, a Netflix documentation series.

Born 1940. Lawson credits his lifetime interest in science to his first-grade teacher in Brooklyn, New York. They inspired him with stories about George Washington Carver, a renowned Black innovator. During its foundation, Lawson became one of the only Black gambling engineers. He produced the Demolition Derby arcade game as well.

Collecting the endowment for USC Games

In February, Xbox honored Black voices in Black History Month and supported the NAACP Law Defense Fund. The Black Lives Matter Support Fund, and the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) with the Xbox user community. Within an earlier interview with USC interactive media/games professor, Jim Huntley claimed that after last summer’s Black Lives Matter events. However, he and Danny Bilson, Head of USC Games, began working in the fund. In May, they launched the efforts to build up a scholarship fund. On behalf of Lawson, who died in 2011 for an entire generation.

Huntley stated USC Games is an appreciated place for diversity and anybody is invited to play and create. One of the great issues for under-represented groups is still how to provide this education since costs continue at all universities. That’s why he mentions that supporting Microsoft is very important.

The fund provides help to students from Black and Native Americans who want to graduate from the USC program in Game Design or Computing. USC Games aims at expanding the initiative and supporting other diversity and equity aspects, including salaries supporting the additional Black and Indigenous Faculties. As well as labs and projects dealing with the issues that affect these communities, with financial support from other gaming, technology, and donors. Student fund recipients are recognized as Lawson Scholars.

Endowment returns will help students who study both at the Graduate and Bachelor of the Arts School of Cinema. As well as in the Viterbi School of Engineering, starting in the fall semester. The funds are still accepting donations.

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So you know about the Gerald A. Lawson Fund Microsoft award. Therefore, let me know how much you like this blog in the comment box and also give your thoughts on the news about this USC game.

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Last Update: August 10, 2021