Video games have taken over our leisure time. Today, children do not rush to play in the yard but sit down in front of their PCs and consoles and play games. Needless to say, even adults kill time in online games, being plunged into fantastic worlds. Creating a successful computer game is a difficult task. That is why the overwhelming majority of the creators and players of video games are men. However, women had their hands in some quite well-known game projects. We selected the most noteworthy career stories and created a list of the most influential women in the gaming industry.
Kim won respect and love of many players around the world, creating a concept for one of the most famous projects for personal computers: Portal and Portal 2. The game is based on solving puzzles and moving through portals.
Kim Swift began her career being a game developer at DigiPen Institute of Technology. That time, she participated in the creation of the game Narbacular Drop. The game tells a story about a princess who moved around the world with the help of magic portals. This game was noticed by Valve, one of the most influential companies in the computer games market. It led to the fact that the company founder Gabe Newell has suggested Kim work on the Portal game. Also, the smart girl participated in the creation of Left 4 Dead. Now, Kim works at Electronic Arts as the lead game designer on a Star Wars game.
“Games make adults feel like children again. It is a socially acceptable opportunity for adults to fantasize,” she believes.
Jade became famous as a developer of Assassin’s Creed; before that, she participated in the creating of The Sims. She is among the most powerful women in the computer games industry according to Fortune. Her favorite games include Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Resident Evil 4.
The idea of a career in game development came this way, “I spent the whole summer playing games, and it became absolutely clear to me that I have to create them.” The worst job Jade can remember is the loudspeaker announcement of emergency situations in a hospital. One can judge about the degree of “geekiness” by the fact that the girl, by her own admission, spent 10 hours a day playing Everquest when working at Sony as a programmer. When a reporter asked Jade what game she chose if she was on a deserted island, she replied, “Tetris.” Also, this game is well-liked by many pretty Ukrainian women.
Recalling childhood, Jane calls herself a “super-geek.” She created one of the most well-known games, trying to deal with the effects of a brain commotion. Among the games of her authorship are Superstruct, EVOKE, Cruel 2 B Kind, World Without Oil, The Lost Ring, and Find the Future.
However, the most exciting story is associated with the creating of the game SuperBetter. In 2009, she got a nasty bang on the head, leaving the office. The consequences of the brain concussion were so unpleasant physically that the girl even began to think about suicide. She asked her relatives and friends to call her every day and give small “tasks:” to go out for a little walk or look out the window. “That time I thought: either I would kill myself or turn it all into a game,” she admitted in an interview with the New York Times. So the idea of creating an online game SuperBetter appeared. Jane managed to attract $1 million investment for this project.
Carol Shaw is the first woman who was a game developer in the history of the computer games industry. Carol has been interested in technology since childhood: instead of playing dolls, she tried to understand the radio details of her brother. “It was even scary to enter the computer class for the first time: there were only boys,” she recalled in an interview. At school, she knew mathematics perfectly and, after graduation, the girl went to the city of Berkeley to study computer technologies.
Carol’s career in game development was short but bright: she managed to work in Activision and Atari (later this company was bought by Blizzard). It was Shaw who was involved in creating games for the Atari 2600 console. In such classic games as Video Checkers (1980), River Raid (1982), and 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (1978), there is a significant part of her work and inspiration.
Among friends, she is known by the nickname Burger Becky. At one time, Rebecca won the Space Invaders US Championship which was arranged by Atari. Rebecca created such well-known and interesting games like Tass Times in Tonetown, The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate, and participated in porting Another World to Macintosh and Nintendo.