Atari Women’s stories have historically been overlooked. In order to shed light on these stories, we have created a remixed Pac-Man game. Pac-Man is one of the most well-known games produced by Atari, and we wanted to create a fun and exciting way to learn about these stories using this beloved classic.
In the Atari Women remixed Pac-Man game, a woman developer at Atari collects binary code and fights bugs to make her own video game. It showcases the experiences that women developers went through during that time — dealing with tight deadlines, difficult bosses, and oppressive stereotypes. The game also draws from the actual stories of real-life AtariWomen collected through interviews. We have replaced the original Pac-Man ‘ghosts’ with computer bugs. The design of the bug is based on the bugs in the Femtech.dk GRACE installation celebrating Grace Hopper. The ‘power pills’, which enable the woman game developer to kill the bugs, are the Atari Women logo. In other words, “the player is empowered by the Atari Women to fight bugs.” The cutscenes between levels are based on quotes from the screenplay written by Dona Bailey about her experiences working in Atari’s coin-op department. In fact, Dona Bailey herself graciously agreed to record voice-overs to accompany these quotes during the cutscenes. Furthermore, the music in the game is the original music from the Atari release of Pac-Man Jr. composed by Patricia Goodson, another AtariWomen.
Concept & Art: Pernille Bjørn, Daniela Rosner, Tori Teng, Tanya Chang, Monina Neopomuceno, Esther Lin, Cara Pangelinan
Cutscene quotes & voice-over recordings: Dona Bailey
Music: Patricia Goodson
Coding: Kasper Lorentzen & Shaun Williams
Design & Manufacturing of the physical interaction: Tori Teng, Tanya Chang, Monina Neopomuceno