Computer scientist Grace M Hopper coined the term “bug” when she found a moth in a vacuum tube of an old mechanical computer more than 70 years ago. Today, we still refer to ‘bugs’ in our computer system and the process of ‘debugging’ to fix computer glitches. Amplifying the story of the “bug,” the Bug Box aims to represent and celebrate women who have made important contributions to Atari games in the early days of the gaming industry.
Moths are extremely important pollinators in our environment, by using the Moth-design in the Bug Box, we highlight Atari Women as important pollinators to the video gaming industry, just like bugs are for agriculture. Furthermore, by designing our artefact as a box –something that stores and hides, but also revealed when opened–we represent how these stories have been overlooked. In order to do so, however, we need to ‘open up the black box and see what is inside’ if we are to fully understand and appreciate the work which went into games rather than just seeing the finished product.
As a group of strong-minded individuals, we are pushing for awareness of the various women who took on different roles in the gaming industry and incite change in the male dominated field of computer science. We want to overcome gender stereotypes that undermine the role of women in computer science. It is important for our society that we have diversity in any field of work–particularly computer science, which shapes our digital lives. Let’s fix this bug in our system!
Concept, Design and Manufacturing: Erica Smith, Jessica Chin, Emily Xiaoyang Chen