As is the case in any profession, countless women have made significant contributions to video gaming over the years. These accomplishments are often overlooked, however. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most influential women in the gaming industry.
5) Barbara Dunkelman
A high-ranking employee of Texas production company Rooster Teeth, Barbara Dunkelman is currently the company’s Marketing and Community Manager. She is also co-director of the popular and successful gaming convention, RTX and has appeared in both voice and live action acting roles in several productions, including Rooster Teeth’s RWBY, and popular anime Fairy Tail.
4) Lucy Bradshaw
Lucy Bradshaw was General Manager of formerly independent game development company Maxis, which was acquired by EA in 1997. Maxis was perhaps most notable for creating The Sims series, the development and evolution of which was largely supervised by Bradshaw. Prior to holding her position at Maxis, she had also worked in video game production at LucasArts and Activision. Bradshaw also holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan.
3) Jade Raymond
Jade Raymond is a successful Canadian video game executive who has held senior positions in arguably the world’s two biggest game studios, EA and Ubisoft. After receiving a Bachelor of Science majoring in Computer Science from McGill University in 1998, she took her first post-graduate job at Sony, where she assisted in the creation of Sony Online’s first Research and Development group. From here, she progressed on to a position at Electronic Arts, where she worked as a producer on The Sims Online. Raymond’s most notable work was perhaps with Ubisoft Montreal, who she joined in 2004 as a producer for Assassin’s Creed, then executive producer for Assassin’s Creed II. More recently, she has worked on high-profile Ubisoft projects such as the popular, but heavily-criticised Watchdogs. In July 2015, Raymond returned to EA and founded Motive Studios as a division specialising in action-adventure games and helping EA accumulate intellectual properties. Motive Studios’ first announced game is a collaboration with Visceral Games on an untitled Star Wars project.
2) Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen
Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen is an Australian television presenter known mainly as the host of ABC2 video gaming series Good Game. Born in Sydney, Australia, Stephanie moved with her family to Auckland, New Zealand, before moving back to Australia. During her later childhood and adolescence, her parents imposed strict anti-gaming rules in the house, forcing Bendixsen to sneak out and play video games with her friends. We were lucky enough to conduct an exclusive interview with Bendixsen recently, during which she revealed that she is a strong advocate for the inclusion and acceptance of women in online gaming communities, where she feels they are often still met with hostility or mockery. While she concedes that gender equality in gaming has improved somewhat in recent times, she still believes there is a long way to go. Bendixsen also writes a monthly gaming column for Dolly magazine
1) Corrinne Yu
Corrinne Yu is an American game programmer who has been instrumental in creating popular games since the 1990s. She studied electrical engineering at California State Polytechnic University before moving into professional game programming, eventually being employed as Director of Technology at American Studio Ion Storm. While at Ion Storm, Yu was responsible for creating Quake 2‘s code base and, indirectly, any subsequent games using that engine. After leaving Ion Storm in 1998, Yu worked in a similar role at Gearbox Software, creator of the popular Brothers in Arms and Borderlands shooter franchises. She worked to modify the Epic Unreal Engine 3, placing emphasis on lighting, shadows and physics. Perhaps most notable is Yu’s time as Principal Engine Architect with 343 Industries – the studio established in 2007 to continue production of the Halo franchise following Bungie’s split from Microsoft. During production of 2012’s Halo 4, Yu programmed facial animation, and researched and developed new lighting techniques. Besides working as a game programmer, Yu programmed on the Space Shuttle program at Rockwell International California. She designed and conducted accelerator experiments at LINAC inCalifornia and the accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Her nuclear physics research won her a national award from the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2009, Corrinne Yu won Best in Engineering internationally at GDC (Game Developers Conference) WiG nominated and judged by a panel of her industry peers for the last 2 years in a row, for her work in programming.