Carol Shaw Donates Collection to The Strong

July 19th, 2017 by Benj Edwards

Carol Shaw with River Raid Box

Good News!

You may recall that I interviewed Carol Shaw for VC&G back in 2011. Shaw is best known for developing River Raid and for being Atari’s first female video game designer.

(At that time, I called Shaw “the world’s first female video game developer.” Since then, I have made a new discovery, so stay tuned.)

Through connections made between myself, Shaw, and my good friends at The National Museum of Play at The Strong in Rochester, NY, Shaw recently donated a cache of amazing historical materials, including printed source code for River Raid and an EPROM of her first game, Polo.

Carol Shaw's River Raid Atari 2600 Source Code Photo

When I first learned that Shaw still had large format printouts of the River Raid source code (back in 2011), I panicked, trying to figure out the best way to preserve it. I was thinking I might even have to fly over and photograph it myself — just to make sure it would not be lost.

But luckily, ICHEG at The Strong is a wonderful institution, and I have been doing my best to direct prototypes and other artifacts their way over the past few years. I am happy to do my own small part in preserving the history of video games, and it is wonderful that an important pioneer such as Shaw is getting the recognition she deserves.

3 Responses to “Carol Shaw Donates Collection to The Strong”

  1. V Says:

    This is awesome, always love to see history preserved.

  2. John Says:

    My favorite game for the 2600. Still have a copy of it.

  3. Don Holmberg Says:

    I wish I could see the source code someday. I’d love to see how she did all of this on such a limited machine. Reverse playfield…yeah, I get that part. Polynomial counters to determine where enemies and landmarks are placed.

    I can’t be sure, but I think this was one of the first vertical scrollers (very smooth!) and I would love to learn from this.

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