Over the past year, especially with the unfortunate shadow of Gamergate’s harassment and death threats towards female developers, the role of women, and gender in general, in the games industry has become an increasingly analyzed subject. Out of the midst of this however, the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment in Oakland, California has stepped up and chosen to push past the unpleasantness of Gamergate, honoring the contribution of women to the development of video games as we see them today.
Premiering this Saturday, April 11th, the exhibit, ‘Women in Game Development,’ is meant “to increase awareness of women’s contribution in games.” The museum’s description of the exhibit states, “Since the days of Atari, women have made some of the most influential and important games, despite the perception that only ‘men make video games.’”
A playable exhibit, ‘Women in Game Development’ will include:
- Roberta Williams (Designer/Writer)– King’s Quest 1
- Carol Shaw (Designer/Programmer)– River Raid
- Reiko Kodama (Designer/Artist)– Phantasy Star
- Yoko Shimomura (Composer)– Street Fighter II
- Danielle Bunten Berry (Designer)– Seven Cities of Gold
- Amy Hennig (Director/Producer/Designer/Writer)– Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
- Corrinne Yu (Graphics Programmer)– Anachronox
- Kim Swift (Designer)– Portal
While these are the only games that will be on display, it is important to note each and every woman on the list has made multiple, essential games, Amy Hennig for example having gone on to create the Jak and Daxter and the Uncharted franchises. All eight women have played a role in crafting the games industry, and each is well worth celebration.