ATARI WOMEN - retro gaming and the women pioneers behind them
Only few women choose a career in computer science. Since 2016, I been interested in understanding this strange phenomenon, with the purpose of making a difference and actively change the current situation. A core issue is not about attracting women to join computer science, but instead about changing the ways in which computer science is displayed and perceived from within. One fundamental tale about computer science is that it is closely linked to computer game development, as games have often been used as a way to demonstrate superior software and hardware capabilities within research labs. Further the popularity of games and gaming culture is prevalent and perceived predominantly as male in western societies. However, women played important roles when the gaming industry was being established in the 70s and 80s, but only few know their names and their stories. Focusing on the Atari gaming console, which has famously manifested the start of the gaming industry in the USA, we identified 29 CIS- and trans-women who made important contributions to Atari, and 13 allowed us to tell their stories. In this keynote, Professor Pernille Bjørn will tell the stories of Atari Women celebrating the women, who made important contribution to Atari in the 70s and 80s . The purpose of telling the stories of Atari Women is to challenge the contemporary predominantly masculine representation of computer game development and re-work current historical (“retro”) celebratory memories of gaming to include hidden stories about women’s contributions. The aim is to shape current narratives about computing by re-writing the history of gaming through design activities. Finally, she will present intertextual design as an HCI design approach that 1) uses design to create new historical referents (connecting present contexts with people who carry past stories); and 2) harnesses nostalgia and fame to amplify the impacts of those referents on computing cultures today and in the years to come. Basically, re-writing the history of gaming is about stating that diverse gender identities are not new in gaming, they have always been there and they are still here. Atari women and their contributions must be remembered to change the future.
Wed 11 Nov Times are displayed in time zone: (UTC) Coordinated Universal Time change
08:00 - 09:00
|ATARI WOMEN - retro gaming and the women pioneers behind them|
Pernille BjørnUniversity of Copenhagen, Denmark & University of Washington, USA