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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

The Woman Who Brought Female Representation to Games

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Pioneering video game developer Van Mai.

When I went to university, they didn't care much about RAM or computer space; they had plenty. -Van Mai

Credit: Van Mai

Born in Vietnam, Van Tran (now Van Mai) came to the U.S. as a teenage refugee at the end of the war. In an article, learn how she went from dropping out of high school due to the language barrier to working for a short-lived, Texas-based game company called Apollo, where she wrote Wabbit—the first console game to star a human girl.

"I was very proud of myself," Mai said. "Within the limitations (of the VCS), RAM and everything, and the (cartridge) space, I could put one game into 4k like that.

"I think I'm a pretty good coder because of that, because in the beginning, there wasn't much room to write your logic, and you have to write good logic because of space."

From Video Game History Foundation
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