Women in Game Design and Development: Meet the Trailblazers

I have a great appreciation for the power of gaming to transport you into an alternative reality where you write the outcome of your existence by every move you make, a world where a second chance to right your wrongs is as simple as pressing the reset button.

Samsung Gaming Trailer at SXSW

Video games and development are things that women are stereotyped to have no interest in. Unfortunately, when many people think about those who have brought us the games we know and love, they envision men behind the scenes. However, women in tech have been achieving the unachievable as game developers for decades. So, let’s look at a few of the women who have paved the way for modern gaming?

Christy Marx

If you were a fan of Teenage Ninja Turtle, Conquests of Camelot, and G.I. Joe, then you should thank Christy as she was the one who wrote all of them. She was a designer, writer, and developer for comics and games.

Photo courtesy of PCMag

Rebecca Heineman

Rebecca is the first woman in history to win a national video game tournament championship. She started game programming in her teens and learned to break into games. Rebecca also taught herself how to reverse-engineer a code. Later on, she became the founder of multiple game companies like Olde Skuul, Interplay, and others.

Brenda Romero

Brenda is famous for her Wizardry series that was quite popular in the 80s. She started her career as a QA tester for games and soon became the creator of more than 50 games, becoming the most influential woman programmer. Following her success, she used her influence to raise important topics like anti-censorship, sexual content and their role in video games, and parental rating awareness to the community.

Corrinne Yu

Corrinne is one of the most famous women in game programming and 3D rendering. Her contributions as a graphics engine programmer have shaped the gaming industry into what it is today. Even now, Corrinne’s code is still popular among programmers. Her most notable work in gaming is King’s Quest game and gaming engines like Direct 3D, QuickDraw 3D, Unreal Engine 3and Quake 2 engine.

Kellee Santiago

Kellee was a gaming enthusiast who produced her game Cloud as a student project. Later, she expanded her love for game development and founded her company named thatgamecompany. Then, she went on to create multiple super hit games like Flow, Journey, and Flower for Sony Computer Entertainment. She now works for Google Play games.

These ladies are just the tip of the iceberg. There are several others. Women have dominated the gaming industry much more and laid the foundations of modern gaming that we play. Let’s take a moment and appreciate their contributions.