In Celebration of International Women’s Day this Post will highlight some of the great achievements women have provided to the gaming industry while paying homage to some of the iconic figures and characters within the gaming universe. For the most part the gaming world from its developers, executives and gamers themselves have been dominated by men. The notion that women don’t enjoy playing video games has been over time debunked due to the surge of women providing inspiration and creative ideas to contribute to the collective gaming space. With streaming becoming hugely popular, we find many popular streamers to be women who have created a following due to their unique perspective and skills with a controller or mouse and keyboard. The following examples will express the true excellence that women provide to gaming and continue to provide to bring video games to the next level.
Carol Shaw is the first women programmer and designer in video game history. She created 3D Tic-Tac-Toe for the Atari2600 in 1978 while also working with Activision to create River Raid 1 and 2.
Ms.Pac-Man (1982) is regarded as the first famous female protagonist in video game history but Lady-bug (1981) a game meant to capitalize on the success of Pac-Man provided the first female protagonist to encourage more girls to visit arcades.
Dona Bailey was the first female to design an arcade game in video game history. She was a vital part in creating Atari’s Centipede.
Lara Croft maybe regarded as the most famous of all female video game protagonists. She made her debut in the Tomb Raider game in 1996 and has since made appearances in over 30 games. Her popularity trickled over into Hollywood spawning 3 movies with Angelina Jolie playing Lara for 2 movies and Alicia Vikander in the 2018 reboot.
Doris Self is the first female competitive gamer. In 1983 Doris participated in the Video Games Masters Tournament and broke the then high score for Q’bert (an arcade game where Q’berts objective was to change a tiles presented in the form of a pyramid to a specified colour) of 1,112,300 points.