Welcome to our eighth post about women in the computer industry, contributed by Heather Elizabeth Ross.
When Carla Meninsky was hired as a game designer for the Atarti 2600 console in the early 1980s, she was one of two female engineers working at Atari. While at Atari, Meninsky developed Indy 500 (1977), Star Raiders (1979), and Dodge ‘Em (1980). Dodge ‘Em involved controlling a race car on a four lane track and collecting dots in order to advance through the levels. Meninsky worked on the multiplayer game, Warlords, started her own computer contracting business, went to law school, and is currently an intellectual property attorney.
Dona Bailey started as an engineer at Atari in 1980. After Carol Shaw’s departure, Bailey was the only female game designer at the company. There she co-created and designed, along with Ed Logg, the classic arcade game, Centipede. After its release to instant success, Bailey disappeared from the video game industry only to resurface 26 years later as a keynote speaker at the 2007 Women in Games Conference. Bailey admitted it was the pressure and criticism from her male counterparts that drove her from the business. Today, Dona Bailey encourages women to pursue careers in computer gaming and works as a college instructor, teaching numerous courses, including game design.