Women’s History Month: Carol Shaw (Gaming)

Carol Shaw (born 1955) was one of the first female game designers and programmers in the video game industry. She is best known for creating the Atari 2600 vertically scrolling shooter River Raid (1982) for Activision. She worked for Atari, Inc. from 1978-1980 where she designed multiple games including 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (1978) and Video Checkers (1980), both for the Atari 2600. She left game development in 1984 and retired in 1990.

A brief bio: Shaw was born in 1955 in Palo Alto, CA. Her father was a mechanical engineer. She went to UC Berkley and graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1977. She went on to complete a master’s degree in Computer Science at Berkeley.

In 2017, Shaw received the Industry Icon Award at The Game Awards. In the same year, she donated her gaming memorabilia, including games, boxes, source code, and designs, to the Strong National Museum of Play. You can read more about Carol on their website by clicking HERE.

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