Space & Innovation

Barbie Gets a Game Developer Job

Mattel sells out of its latest doll, who packs a laptop and actual computer code.

Not only has Mattel finally made a Career Barbie that works in a smart tech job, but her computer doesn't match her shoes and she doesn't need help from a boy.

Game Developer Barbie, introduced earlier this month, wears jeans, a rad T, sensible shoes and headset, reports Slate. Even better, she consults flowcharts and uses programming books in C++ and C#.

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After some big computer Barbie duds, Mattel may have hit the sweet spot, because the latest version just sold out.

That's good feedback for a company whose Barbie, back in 1992, declared, "Math class is hard!"

What appears to have been hard was making a computing Barbie that represents.

Not that long ago -- 2014 to be exact -- the company put out a Computer Engineer Barbie and the corresponding book "I Can Be A Computer Engineer," which had Barbie infecting her own computer and then sister's computer with a virus and then running to Brian and Steven for help.

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But Game Developer Barbie is different. She eats Chinese take-out, wears glasses, and drinks coffee.

Mattel had already started moving in the right direction with Barbie earlier this year when it announced it was giving Barbie new body shapes that more accurately reflected women in the real world.

"My only disappointment," writes Slate's Casey Fiesler, "is that Mattel didn't take this opportunity to partner with some computing education folks to suggest that not only can kids be game developers when they grow up -- that they can be game developers right now!"

Fiesler suggests that if you give your kid Game Developer Barbie, you might also gift her with a pointer to Scratch, where kids can learn to code.

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