Gaming

Van Mai: a pioneer for women in gaming

The Video Game History Foundation found and spoke to Van Mai, a pioneer for women in gaming as the creator of “the first console game with a named playable female character who isn’t off-screen”: Last year, Polygon ran an article about our search for an Atari VCS game developer by the name of “Ban Tran.” As we …

The Video Game History Foundation found and spoke to Van Mai, a pioneer for as the creator of “the first console game with a named playable female character who isn’t off-screen”:

Last year, Polygon ran an article about our search for an VCS game developer by the name of “Ban Tran.” As we understood it, Tran was a Vietnamese woman who worked for a short-lived, Texas-based game company called Apollo, where she wrote Wabbit — the first console game to star a human girl — before the company declared bankruptcy towards the end of 1982.

However, after working on an unreleased Solar Fox conversion the following year for the Atari 5200 at MicroGraphic Image, Tran simply disappeared. And while there are many people in the United States by that name, none of them appeared to be her. The article on Polygon concluded with musings that her old coworkers may have simply mis-remembered her name. 

As it turned out, they were only one letter off.

Read the rest of the article on the WGHF website.