Barbie Is a Game Developer Now
We've come a long way from "Math class is tough."
— Barbie (@Barbie) June 15, 2016
Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that dolls from Barbies’ new, inclusive line—Barbie Fashionistas—were only available online and as part of a set. In fact, they can now be purchased individually and at retail locations as well as online.
It’s been two years since Mattel’s well-intentioned but abysmally-executed Barbie book I Can Be a Computer Engineer, and in that time, a lot has changed. The Barbie line got a radical, inclusive makeover; Mattel introduced its first lesbian Barbie; and now, fresh off of E3, Mattel has released an image of the game developer Barbie it first announced last January.
The doll is Barbie’s “Career of the Year” pick, and, as Casey Fiesler reports over on Slate, she’s a departure from Computer Engineer Barbie in that she’s not using a pink laptop (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with pink tech, it’s just nice to see some variety!).
Fiesler also points out that, if you look closely at Game Developer Barbie’s computer screen, you’ll see she can actually code—and without Ken’s help this time:
The interface appears to be Alice, an educational programming environment, and the code it’s outputting is ActionScript (or maybe Haxe). Basically, she seems to be making a Bejeweled clone in Flash. And whatever you think about that choice, it’s a huge step up from Computer Engineer Barbie’s laptop showing nothing but ones and zeros.
The back of Game Developer Barbie’s box explains, “Game development involves storytelling, art & graphic design, audio design, & computer programming. Because there are so many aspects to creating a game, teamwork is important.”
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