“Women have indelibly shaped every aspect of the history of video games, and that story needs to be better documented and told.”
That’s Jon-Paul Dyson, director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at The Strong museum in Rochester, New York. This week, The Strong revealed its plans for a Women in Games initiative that aims to document the contributions of women in the fields of computer science and video games. Women are already included in The Strong’s existing exhibits and archives, but Dyson says their work has been “underappreciated” overall.
This isn’t a view that Dyson holds alone. We recently spoke with Anita Sarkeesian, the creator of Feminist Frequency, about the ways women are often underrepresented or misrepresented in the video game industry (and within games themselves).
The Women in Games initiative includes an interactive exhibit set to open at The Strong in September 2018, plus an online companion exhibit designed to be “a resource for scholars, students, and enthusiasts.”
ICHEG Associate Curator Shannon Symonds is leading the Women in Games initiative and she’s put out a call for interested folks to donate relevant materials, help collect artifacts or otherwise collaborate.
“For many decades, women have played key roles in the design, production, manufacture, marketing, and writing of video games, and yet their history in the gaming industry is too little preserved and too often underappreciated,” Symonds says. “The Strong’s Women in Games initiative will document and celebrate these crucial contributions through a concerted effort to collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts and archival material related to women in gaming.”
The Strong is also the home of the World Video Game Hall of Fame and the DICE Awards exhibit, which chronicles winners and stand-out moments from the award show’s 20-year history.