Before We Were “Gamers”: Roberta Williams, Sierra On-Line, and How We Write Women into Video Game History

 

Personal Best welcomes Laine Nooney to the second event in our continuing series on the best practices of contemporary women game designers and researches through a feminist lens.

Before We Were “Gamers”: Roberta Williams, Sierra On-Line, and How We Write Women into Video Game History
Tuesday 3/26 7PM, 9th Floor

Personal Best is excited to welcome our second speaker, Laine Nooney whose lecture will cover some of the founding hits of Roberta Williams’ game design career and offer insight on how Williams’ understood her own design practice, put in the context of Sierra On-Line as an important company of the 1980s home computer software boom. Furthermore, the contributions of Williams will be framed within the larger context of video game history, and focus on how women like Roberta Williams aren’t simply “additions” to a historically male gaming narrative but could actually challenge what we understand the history of games to be.

A Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory at Stony Brook University, Nooney’s dissertation work is a cultural history of the personal computer and domestic space, focusing on women’s engagements with computers in their home from the late 1970s-early 1990s. She is Editorial Assistant to the Journal of Visual Culture, Curatorial Assistant to the William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection, and has just completed work as a Production Assistant on the documentary When Games Went Click: The Story of Tennis for Two. She has recently been interviewed by NPR’s Marketplace TechReport on Roberta Williams on the history of women in gaming, and is co-organizer of Different Games, the first conference on diversity, difference and intersectionality in game production, scholarship and criticism.

Personal Best is an event series presented by NYU Game Center which showcases the best practices of contemporary women game designers and researchers through a feminist lens. The series is co-created by Game Center MFA candidate, Toni Pizza and Graduate Assistant to the NYU Poly Game Innovation Lab, Sarah Schoemann in partnership with NYU Game Center faculty and staff.