Recognized as the first female video game designer, Carol Shaw began working at Atari in 1978, holding additional positions at Tandem and Activision up until 1990. While working with Activision, she developed the popular Atari game River Raid, which became successful enough to allow for her early retirement.
Shaw was a trailblazer in an industry that, to this day, isn’t especially welcoming to women. She had shown a talent for math and computers from an early age, rejecting the “boys only” sentiment attached to both interests at the time.
“When I was in junior high and high school, I was good at math,” she stated in a rare interview. “I
entered a bunch of math contests and won awards. Of course, people
would say, ‘Gee, you’re good at math — for a girl.’ That was kind of
annoying. Why shouldn’t girls be good at math?“