Brenda Laurel

Brenda Laurel is a pioneering figure in the fields of human-computer interaction and video game design. She is best known for her work on gender and technology, particularly her efforts to make video games more accessible and appealing to girls and women. Laurel has a background in theater, which she has often incorporated into her approach to software design, emphasizing the importance of narrative and user experience.

Laurel gained prominence in the early 1990s when she co-founded Purple Moon, a software company focused on creating video games targeted at young girls. The company was one of the first to address the gender gap in video gaming, offering titles that emphasized storytelling, relationship-building, and problem-solving, as opposed to the action-oriented, competitive games that were prevalent at the time. Although Purple Moon was eventually closed, its contributions to the field were significant and paved the way for more inclusive gaming experiences.

In addition to her work in the gaming industry, Brenda Laurel has been an influential academic and author. Her book "Computers as Theatre," first published in 1991, is considered a seminal work in the field of human-computer interaction. In the book, she draws parallels between the principles of Greek drama and effective software design, arguing that designers should focus on creating engaging and meaningful user experiences.

Laurel has also been involved in education, teaching at various institutions and advocating for a more interdisciplinary approach to technology design that incorporates insights from the arts and humanities. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions to the field, including being named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Brenda Laurel is a key figure in the realms of human-computer interaction and video game design, particularly known for her focus on gender inclusivity and the importance of narrative in technology. Her work has had a lasting impact, influencing both the academic discourse and the practical aspects of design and user experience. She continues to be an influential voice advocating for a more holistic and inclusive approach to technology.