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Girl Code

posted by: May 29, 2017 - 7:00am

Cover art for Girl CodeIn 2014, teenagers Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser created an 8-bit, side-scrolling video game called Tampon Run, where tampons  are used as weapons instead of guns. In their new book Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral and Getting It Done, they tell about their experience learning to code, creating a viral video game and balancing high school life with their career pursuits.

 

Houser, inspired by her oldest brother who worked at Teespring, became interested in coding as a means of self-expression and creation. Gonzales, who grew up playing video games with her computer programmer father, had previous coding experience and had created a game for English class based on the imbalanced portrayals of men and women in The Odyssey. Both girls wanted to create a game that addressed a feminist issue, and their aim with Tampon Run was to challenge the idea that openly discussing menstruation is a social taboo — especially in a society that has normalized guns and violence. Their goal is to inspire more girls to get interested in computer programming.   

 

Gonzales and Houser were both New York City high school students when they met at the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program and created Tampon Run for their final project. Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. Although women make up 48 percent of the total workforce, the percentage of women working in computer science is only 25 percent.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about women in computing, check out Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky and read about women like Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, born in 1815, and widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer.


 
 

Revised: May 29, 2017