Brenda Laurel is an American interaction designer, video game designer, and researcher. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusiveness in video games, a pioneer in developing virtual reality, a public speaker, and an academic. She is known for her work on virtual reality and her advocacy for diversity and inclusiveness in video games. She founded Purple Moon, a company that created computer games for girls, in 1993. Purple Moon was bought by Mattel in 1999 and eventually shut down, but Laurel’s work has had a lasting impact on the gaming industry.
Link to Computers as Theater at Amazon.
Our thought was to try to do some research to figure out how we might get girls engaged with technology so they wouldn’t be afraid of it. That was the initial impulse. And then as we went around, we interviewed like 1,000 kids all over the country, several years of research. We started learning things that we could do with those games that might be actually relevant and liberating for girls between the ages of 8 and 12. And so our mission became twofold, really. One was a computer literacy attractant. That was the initial impulse. But as we got into it, it was about – oh, shit, man, we can do some things for little girls that might make a big difference in their lives. And as I was raising three of them at the time, I was closely related to the problem space.