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The 100 Most Influential Women in Gaming 108

Ground Glass writes "Next Generation has posted a list of the 100 most influential women in the games industry. It's an exhaustive and nonsense-free take on a subject particularly important to the male-dominated world of videogames. From the article: 'A gender-inclusive approach to game design and marketing of games may ensure that most, if not all, considerations to producing games for myriad markets are not overlooked. Games are no longer produced for a niche market of players; they are produced for complex, over-lapping layers of demographically, geographically, socially and culturally-influenced consumer groups.'"
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The 100 Most Influential Women in Gaming

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  • Sorry, I misread this article title. I was at first stunned they found 100, cause I can only think of like 2 or 3 women in gambling right now, including Jennifer Harman and Dave Williams mom.
    • And now that you know that it's gaming, you're not stunned that they found 100?

      Cool links. [blogspot.com]
    • by intrico ( 100334 )
      Even though they are referring to "gaming" rather than gambling, I for one am still surprised that they found 100.
      • Christ, up until the 4th page I was wondering if any of them were involved with companies anyone ever heard or cared about. Then I saw the one from EA and realized that they did find atleast someone from a company everyone hates.
    • This list is proposterous. They have people like Public relations officer at Nintendo and someone who teaches game design at some university, yet they fail to talk about the most influential people, such as Roberta Williams and other women who were famous for the adventure games from Sierra Online that came out back in the 80s and 90s. Maybe they ment the most infuential people still in games.
  • Number 1... (Score:5, Funny)

    by tygerstripes ( 832644 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @11:47AM (#16096418)
    The missus. Her stern insistence and, as a last resort, use of the step-ladder to reach the fuse-box is the only reason I still have a life, job, pulse etc when faced with [insert game].
  • Top 10 maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dalewj ( 187278 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @11:49AM (#16096425) Homepage
    Top 10 makes sense, top 100 is a bit of digging for no reason... in my opinion. intersting thou.
    • Re:Top 10 maybe (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jeffmeden ( 135043 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:04PM (#16096559) Homepage Journal
      +1. Project managers? Consultants? It sounds like they struggled just to find 100 women with careers related to video games. Influential, to me, means that the person has a broad impact on the industry in general and not just on the project they work on. I doubt many these people could be named by anyone outside their company. The pics are suspect too, how many do you think came off of their MySpace page? It's not that I'm harsh on women in gaming, but the author probably just did this as a favor piece so that she can make 100 friends in the business.
      • I have a little bit of knowledge about how this list was compiled. Fiona was originally going to publish only 50 names, but received so many recommendations that she expanded the list to 100. These women were almost entirely recommended by people outside of their companies. Many of the people who made recommendations were people (of both sexes) on the IGDA's women_dev list. There were many recommendations who didn't even make it onto the list (I recommended Evelyn Richardson, head of the Game Developer'
        • No offense intended to you or the subjects of this article, but the author should have stuck with 50! After reading the list a little more carefully I am hard pressed to find even a dozen who have more than a typical career in the video game industry. When they say influential I expect them to *mean it*. I stand by my original statement that this article is mostly a favor piece that does nothing more than circulate names.
          • by Malkin ( 133793 )
            "After reading the list a little more carefully I am hard pressed to find even a dozen who have more than a typical career in the video game industry."

            I understand your concern. To be honest, when I saw that Fiona put up 100 names, I read through the list with a critical eye. I'm a female senior programmer in the industry, and I've even been a lead before. I'm pretty well known, have spoken at conferences and universities, and have been consulted for books and articles on a number of occasions. So, you
    • In all honesty I think a top 100 list of men would be too much too. You can clearly outline 10 top people and there will be some tough calls, but honestly, top 100 would just be a boring list, after a while it is "oh yeah, this guy did this, you forgot about it already"
  • Kudos to Fiona Cherbak, who wrote the article. I'm still reading it, but I've learned a few interesting things so far. I'll mention Sue Bohle, who has worked on PR for two decades, 3DO included.
  • Or, can dead people not be considered to be "influential"?

    http://dir.salon.com/story/tech/feature/2003/03/18 /bunten/index.html [salon.com]
    • But didn't Dani do most of her influential work back when s/he was Daniel? That could be a technical disqualifier. :)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Bunten [wikipedia.org]

      Carnage Blender [carnageblender.com]: Meet interesting people. Kill them.
      • maybe, but i'd say that doesn't really matter, seeing as how most of the people in this top 100 list are product managers, ceo's, and marketing drones. business people. they actually probably don't care about games much at all, other than the fact that it lets them have a paycheck. wheras dani, despite her birth-gender, made some of the most inventive games ever created, and was a true pioneer. as already stated, Will Wright dedicated "the sims" to her.
    • by Pluvius ( 734915 )
      People generally don't consider transsexual males to be women. That includes other women, who would usually be very nervous at the idea of even sharing the public bathroom with them, for example.

      Now, the one omission I can't figure out is Stevie Case. Like her or not, despite the fact that she got her position mainly because she was John Romero's girlfriend, she was still more influential than most of the women on this list. (It doesn't have to be a good influence. Hell, I don't think the cynical commer
      • by British ( 51765 )
        Stevie Case ruined it all when she posed nude(even though it never hit the press), etc. She went from female gamer who broke the gender barrier....right all the way down to "attention whore". No, she isn't influential at all.And according to wikipedia, As of November 2005, "Case is employed at Tira Wireless in sales/business development." she isn't involved with games at all.
  • Jon Romero (Score:5, Funny)

    by kerp11 ( 410921 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @11:51AM (#16096450) Homepage
    That John Romero chick is HOT
    • If I had the points, I would mod you to heaven - why are references to PA always funnier when it takes you a minute to get it?
    • by dougmc ( 70836 )

      That John Romero chick is HOT


      I recall PC Gamer having a picture of Stevie Case [wikipedia.org] on the cover, and talking about how she was one of the `Gaming Gods'. While I may not agree with you about John, I would have to say that Stevie was indeed rather attractive, though I tended to question her actual influence on the gaming industry at the time. I don't recall seeing her name in the list given today (and really didn't expect to see it, but I did look for it.)

  • Where's Lara Croft? She has to be in the top 100! She is a real person, isn't she?
  • by jimstapleton ( 999106 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @11:58AM (#16096499) Journal
    to gaming but computer science in general. I didn't see her in there. If I remember correclty, she was a US Naval Officer, and won a bet by doing the "impossible", designing a language that could use semi human words, instead of the bytecode that everyone had punched in up until then. She even made it work in three languages... Without her, the whole computer industry, let alone gaming, would have been set back years.
    • by codefrog ( 302314 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:16PM (#16096661)
      Sounds like you meant (but didn't name) Grace Hopper, who (IIRC) was associated with the development of ADA.
      http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/hopper.html [sdsc.edu]
    • I believe you mean Grace Hopper [wikipedia.org].
  • by Kelz ( 611260 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:03PM (#16096540)
    There are 100 women in gaming?

    • by dohzer ( 867770 )
      I'm sure there are at least 100 that have played a game at some time or another.
      Does that count?
    • Yep, exactly 100. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oneiros27 ( 46144 )

      Next Generation has posted a list of the 100 most influential women in the games industry. It's an exhaustive and nonsense-free take on a subject particularly important to the male-dominated world of videogames

      (Emphasis added).

      So if it's exhaustive, then there can't be a 101th member. Of course, it reads more like 'these are females that I know currently in the industry, or peripherally related'. Hell, Ada Byron [sdsc.edu] probably had more influence than any of the ones on the list, even if it was indirect.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      They all happen to be the booth babes at E3. Sadly, with the recent changes to E3, the state of women in the industry is precarious to say the least.
    • Thanks! (Score:1, Offtopic)

      I only read the comments on this story to see how quickly somebody would post that very message. Cheers!
    • by spx ( 855431 )
      The rest avoided posting a picture online, so to not be hecked upon. :)
  • Roberta Williams? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:03PM (#16096549) Homepage
    And besides that, wtf would influential in gaming mean? Every part considering gaming? In that case Hillary Cliton should also be on that list.
    • by spyrochaete ( 707033 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:26PM (#16096764) Homepage Journal
      The omission of Roberta Williams is ridiculous. She is one of the most influential people in the history of games, never mind video games, never mind women.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ILikeRed ( 141848 )
        I agree. They also left out Roberta's co-worker, Jane Jensen [wikipedia.org]. (Writer of the Gabriel Knight series, also worked on King's Quest VI).
        • I can't believe I didn't mention her name as well! I absolutely adore her games and I enjoyed the first Gabriel Knight novel as well. She's a real fireball and a cutie to boot! I'm really looking forward to her upcoming series for The Adventure Company!
      • by spun ( 1352 )
        Every other woman listed seems to be active in the game industry today. Roberta is retired, more's the pity. When I was a young geek gamer, I had such a crush on her despite the fact that she's 17 years older than me. Girl geek gamer and hot to boot, what's not to love?
        • Every other woman listed seems to be active in the game industry today.

          I still agree that she should be among the most *influential* women in gaming. Even though she's no longer active, the influence that King's Quest and Phantasmagoria alone had on the market is still felt today. (And would anyone doubt she couldn't pull strings today if she wanted back in the market?)
      • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @02:26PM (#16097901) Journal
        She's the one on the right. [wikipedia.org] I kid you not. Bow-chicka-bow-ow! Ms. Williams? I'm here to fix your hot tub. Uh oh, looks like I'm gonna hafta lay some new pipe!
        • by hrrY ( 954980 )
          Truly astonishing, so back in the day women in games had to be developers, designers, booth babes, and porn stars!

          Those were the good ole days!!!!!

          "Rod of shafting +9"
        • by Ezel ( 249772 )
          The link is mildly "Not Suitable For Work" . . Just so you other people know.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by juventasone ( 517959 )
        I completely agree. She should be first on the list. This list reads like the first 100 female names that came out of employee directory. Who would I list second? Lori Ann Cole [wikipedia.org], also blatantly omitted.
        • I can't believe I never thought to look up the designer of the Hero's Quest series. Shadows of Darkness is a ridiculously awesome game. Good for Sierra for nurturing so much great talent!
    • Roberta Williams games are so bad, especially in her later career. Ever play Phantasmagoria or Phantasmagoria II? Those were rubbish. I never had a chance to play the early King's Quest games, but I played some of the later ones and they were rubbish too. Maybe her mark is really with the early games only.
  • Bogus list (Score:2, Redundant)

    by lawpoop ( 604919 )
    Lara Croft appears *nowhere* in the top 100.
  • They left out Morgan Webb? I can't believe it.

    On a purely gratuitous note: Morgan Romine of Frag Dolls is just scorching :) She made the list.
  • by hansamurai ( 907719 ) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:19PM (#16096688) Homepage Journal
    Click print to view them all in one page. But seriously, where's Roberta Williams [wikipedia.org]? Sure she's been retired from gaming for a few years, but she paved the way for women in the industry.
    • by vafada ( 782986 )
      yeah, Roberta Williams should be there... King's Quest and all those Sierra Games she and her husband created are classics... Her games are a big influence to the "Adventure" genre....
  • Interesting, but I think they were really reaching for a number of these. I'd much rather see a list of the most signifigant women in gaming, past and present. I think they'd find a number of more signifigant women to talk about if they delved into the past, including Roberta Williams.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:21PM (#16096706)
    I, for one, would like to recognize videogame pioneer Wilma Rhomer, who in 1979 became the first woman ever to bitch at her boyfriend for neglecting her for videogames.


    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 )
      I, for one, would like to recognize videogame pioneer Wilma Rhomer, who in 1979 became the first woman ever to bitch at her boyfriend for neglecting her for videogames.

      So, do you still keep in touch? ;-)

      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
        So, do you still keep in touch? ;-)

        With her or the videogames?


        • "So, do you still keep in touch? ;-)"

          With her or the videogames?

          Why, the video games, of course. =) You know you've got a 1979 vintage copy of larn hanging about.
  • I must say that I have met less than 5 true female hardcore gamers(*)
    It's interesting to see that there are that many "influential" females in the industry.

    (*) Again, I don't play online, maybe going and playing the Sims may help.
  • What, no Mynx? Dear Mynx was the one reason I kept going back to planetquake...
  • But Jessica Mulligan looks more like a man than a woman.

    She's about 5 or 6 pages in. Can't miss her!
  • Jack Thompson is technically not a woman, but I hear he's a total twat.
  • If lists such as this give you a hard on, why not just list the top 100 influential *people* in the gaming industry? Why bother segretating the sexes via list?

    I thought we stopped doing that in junior school dodgeball teams.
    • If they listed the 100 most influential people in gaming, there wouldn't be any women to make the list.
      • If they listed the 100 most influential people in gaming, there wouldn't be any women to make the list.

        I don't know if that's true or not, but it's certainly the view that's promoted by making these lists that discriminate by sex. Why else would you exclude men from your list?

        I can understand the segregation in sports where people of one sex have an inherent physical advantage over those of the other. But for purely intellectual things, like any sort of high technology, it just promotes the nonsensica

  • Wait for it ... wait for it ...

    Not only could they find 100 women in gaming, at any capacity, but they found 100 that are influential?

    I'm actually astonished.

    Not that I think that's a good thing-- I just think finding 100 *people* that are actually influential is astounding considering most gamers can't name more than 5 "celebrity" gaming figures, be it male or female. Granted, this is harldy the only test for "influence," but it's certainly not far fetched to think they are, perhaps, digging a bit deep to
    • by mgblst ( 80109 )
      Come on, they way I get my coffee in the morning and set my mood for the whole day. And if that bitch didn't get the right muffins, nobody is going to enjoy this game.

      (Please take in the light-hearted manner it was intended)
  • That's not a woman, that's a MAN, baby!!!
  • ...and not straying far at all, Jane Jensen should have gotten a mention at well. She was the creater of the "Gabriel Knight" series, as well as doing work on other Sierra titles, such as King's Quest 6.

    Honesting, ANY designer should be on the list over a "Director of Human Resources" or "Marketing Director" or many of the other titles of the people on the list, and Roberta Williams was hugely influential, and Jane Jensen has gotten tons of praise for her work with Gabriel Knight...
    • Lori Ann Cole is a huge omission too, IMHO. The Quest for Glory games were some of the best Sierra titles during the glory years. Apparently, management folks and chick clans are supposedly more influential than pioneers like Roberta and Lori though.
  • Sally Bevilacqua - for bring in bagels for the whole dev team on the 1st Monday of every month. Thanks Sally! You're a peach!
  • by Pluvius ( 734915 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <3suivulp>> on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @02:20PM (#16097838) Journal
    After meditating on it for a bit, I realized that the woman who wrote this list used the word "influential" when she meant to use the word "powerful." It makes a whole lot more sense now.

  • strike "most influential" and it actually makes sense.
  • CEOs, Project managers, the list goes on. How are they influencial? Answer... "we couldn't find 100 women"

    There's a lot of women in the industry, they just haven't been in the industry for as long as others, or others have not done as much in the current years. Roberta Williams for one hasn't had a game to my knowledge for years.

    I can live with Clans, programmers, and producers (I'll even go with project managers) But why is CEos there, and why are they talking about companies who write Game guides? N
  • But the only person on that list I'd ever heard of before was Erin Hoffman, aka ea_spouse.

    On the other hand, I don't think I could name that many influential males either. Carmack and Romero? Richard Garriot? Tim Sweeney? There just aren't that many star individuals.

  • aka John Romero's Ex-Wife.

    She was hot, a level designer, a great gamer and was featured in Playboy.
  • ... aims for pundit-hood.

    See if you your name your article GAME INDUSTRY'S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN and then fill it with VPs of Marketing and your own boss (I regularly find myself contemplating this months rolling deadline and thinking "This is rough, thank god Mary Margaret Walker, CEO of recruitment agent Mary-Margaret.com is on the case.") you're just aiming to embarrass yourself to the Industry and its customers.

    But, on the other hand, that's not really your audience is it?

  • Stevie Case Of Ion Storm/MonkeyStone and Roberta Williams of the King's Quest fame - after looking at the list twice and not either of them - worthless list without either of these two

Last yeer I kudn't spel Engineer. Now I are won.