Welcome to our final post on pioneer women of the computing world. Our thanks to Heather Elizabeth Ross for contributing these biographies.
Doris Self (1925 – 2006)
At the age of 58, Self was one of the first female competitive gamers when she entered the 1983 Video Game Masters Tournament and broke the world high score record for Q*Bert with 1,112,300 points. Doris was featured in the 2007 documentary, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, when Pac-Man world champion Billy Mitchell presented her with a Q*Bert arcade machine, inspiring the 79-year-old Doris to begin competing again. In 2006 at the age of 81, Doris died from injuries she received in a car accident.
Belinda Van Sickle
Belinda Van Sickle started her video game career in 1996 at Activision, working as a copy writer, designer and layout artist in charge of all game manual copy. In 1999, she was one of the founding members of Ignited Minds (IM), an advertising agency which specialized in game packaging. At ATVI and IM, Van Sickle worked on manuals for all of Activision’s releases from 1997 through 2005. She left IM in 2005 to start her own company, GameDocs. GameDocs has since worked on packaging and promo materials for Vivendi, Disney Interactive Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Konami and Midway, as well as other triple A and independent publishers. Sickle began volunteering with Women in Games International (WIGI) in 2006 by spearheading the WIGI Linkedin group and the Community Mixer series dedicated to the inclusion and advancement of women in the global games industry. She is currently the WIGI CEO, leading the company’s efforts to promote and encourage women’s achievement in games. Van Sickle has been interviewed for articles on the game industry for Wired, GameSpot, GameCareerGuide, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and the Into Tomorrow podcast. She has taught and lectured at the University of Southern California, California State University-Fullerton, the Art Institute of California-Los Angeles and Westwood College. Van Sickle was nominated for Industry Gamers 2011 Person of the Year.