Feature Article

A Look Back At Trailblazing Game Developer Carol Shaw

The pioneering game designer is best known for River Raid.

Oftentimes when looking at the early luminaries of the game development business, there are certain names that come up--Ralph Baer, Gunpei Yokoi, and so on. Carol Shaw's is not always one of them, but not for lack of deserving such accolades.

In celebration of International Women's Day, we profile Shaw in the video above. Shaw earned her master's degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley before going on to work at Atari, where she served as a game designer in the 1970s. She'd later move on to Activision, where she developed the game she's best known for, River Raid for the Atari 2600.

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Now Playing: Carol Shaw: A Look At Video Games' First Female Developer

Shaw's name made headlines not long ago as The Game Awards 2017 presented her with the Industry Icon award for her pioneering work. The early days of game development saw an industry dominated by men, but Shaw and contemporaries like Dona Bailey (best known for Centipede) and Carla Meninsky (who worked on a variety of early Atari games) were few and far between.

You can check out our full look at Shaw's career in our video feature. She retired from the industry in 1990 but has served as an influence for countless other developers in the ensuing decades.

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Chris Pereira

Chris Pereira is a senior editor and the global head of news. He's been covering the video game industry professionally for 14 years and now coordinates news and other editorial content on GameSpot. He likes Twin Peaks, The X-Files (before it was bad), and serial commas.

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