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Girls like to play as much as boys.
the #WomenInGaming the hashtag alone has over 230 million videos on TikTok that range from female gamers showing off their skills and gaming gear to opening on confronting sexism in the male-dominated world of gambling.
Women played an important, often hidden role role in the gaming industrybut there is still work to be done — especially in representation and closing the wage gap. From Xbox to PlayStation, PC games and the Atari era, 80s arcade games and beyond, women have helped design, develop, write, direct and produce some of the most groundbreaking and beloved video games in history. To celebrate Women’s History Month and the upcoming Halo the series debuts via Paramount+ On Thursday (March 24), we rounded up some popular video games that were created, developed, produced by executives, directed or written by women. See more below.
You don’t have to be a gamer to be familiar with Unexplored. The action-adventure game, created by Amy Hennig, has been adopted into novels and a film. Hennig was the head writer and director behind the first Unexplored released in 2007. The gaming veteran started as a freelance artist on the 1989 Atari game Electropop and moved on to Electronic Arts, where she worked on Desert Strike: Return of the Gulf before making his Nintendo design debut in 1989 Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City. Hennig also helped develop the Kain’s Legacy series and Soul Reaver 2 during his time with Crystal Dynamics. Before creating Naughty Dog’s Uncharted: Drake’s FortuneHennig helped develop the Jack and Daxter series.
After parting ways with Naughty Dog in 2014, Hennig joined Visceral Games (a subsidiary of Electronic Arts) before leaving EA and joining Skydance Media in 2019. She is part of the developer team behind Speakan action-adventure game slated for release on October 11.
To buy: Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection ($19.75)
tom raider main character Lara Croft holds the guinness world record as the best-selling video game franchise led by a female protagonist. The video game centers on archaeologist Croft and his adventures with ancient artifacts. The game was originally supposed to be led by a male character, but creator Toby Gard changed the concept to a solo female lead.
The first one grave robber The video game was released in 1996 and developed by a mostly male team with the exception of Heather Gibson, one of the game’s lead developers, and Vicky Arnold, who wrote the screenplay. Gibson and Arnold worked on other games in the grave robber franchise, whose popularity gave birth Laura Croft: Tomb Raider and other big screen adaptations. Other games in the franchise that were written by women include those from 2013 grave robber version written by Susan O’Conner, Rhianna Pratchett and John Stafford. Pratchett also wrote The Rise of the Tomb Raiderwhile Jill Murray and Jason Dozois co-wrote Shadow of the Tomb Raider (pictured above).
Buy: Shadow of the Tomb Raider ($27.95)
the Halo mega-franchise has put Xbox on the map. The first game was created and developed by an all-male team at Bungie through Microsoft. After Bungie parted ways with Microsoft, Halo landed at 343 Industries, a subset of Microsoft led by Bonnie Ross.
Ross began her career co-developing and publishing video games and joined Microsoft after graduating from college in 1989. She previously worked on games such as Zoo Tycoon, jade empire and Fusion Frenzy, and was named general manager of Microsoft Game Studios before becoming head of 343 Industries. The subsidiary’s first major video game was Halo 4released in 2012. Game developer Corrinne Yu also worked on Halo 4which was produced by Kiki Wolfkill.
In 2013, Yu joined video game developer Sony Naughty Dog as a graphics programmer for PlayStation. Early in his career, Yu worked on adventure games such as King’s Quest and Earthquake 2.
Wolfkill, who also produced Halo: The Master Chief Collection, began his career as a developer for Microsoft Encarta. She moved to Corporate Game Studios in the late 90s and joined 343 Industries in 2008. Ross and Wolfkill are both producers on the Halo TV shows.
Buy: Halo 4 ($39.77)
Roberta Williams is a pioneer of the adventure game genre. Williams co-founded development studio Sierra Online with her husband and released the video game My house in 1980. My house is considered the very first adventure game, but Williams didn’t stop there. She developed more than a dozen video games throughout the 90s, including the King’s Quests series, Laura Bow: The Dagger of Amon Ra and Phantasmagoria. The Williams recently announced that they are developing their first video game in over 20 years.