A great story was told as our Industry Icon of the Year 2017 took stage following a tribute video explaining her history in the video games industry developing, writing, programming, even drawing and animating games single handedly over 35 years ago.
Starting out on the Atari, Carol Shaw was one of the first female game developers. She is reportedly recognized as the first woman to ever get her name on a video game box for credit as well. Her name even began to get mentioned during ads for titles when her following grew larger. Now being awarded the Industry Icon 2017 award at The Game Awards puts her name alongside last year’s winner Hideo Kojima Industry Icon 2016 and the first winner of the brand new award category.
Carol’s story is a triumph in the dignity of video games as a medium and a reminder of an excellent developer’s legacy left behind in gaming. Her story to this day reminds us that any person of any race or gender or belief system can participate in playing and making video games. Geek and Sundry’s Felicia Day took stage to introduce the Industry Icon 2017 Carol Shaw as she commented, “This is proof that women have always been in the game industry.”
The tribute video preceding the award detailed Carol’s game development catalog including titles such as Polo and River Raid the latter which has sold over 1 million units upon its release in a time when video games were still niche and the modern mainstream fandom hadn’t formed yet. Plaques were shown for going Platinum in game sales, copies of the games were shown to be played by the developer herself.
[Women in Gaming: Past, Present, and Future]
From College straight to employment at Atari, Carol Shaw represents someone who has helped shape gaming into what it is today. Her triumph took place in a time of rogue development, when developers as she states designed, programmed, wrote, composed, drew, and even marketed their own games solo.
Carol took the stage and gave a heartfelt sincere gratitude to having led such a life in which video games could be seen to evolve so far with even mentions of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality coming into their own upon the horizon. She looked back on all of her years in the video games industry with happiness, and gave words of encouragement to all players who would like to make a video game some day, stating that anyone can still do it today like she did.