feminist hacker barbie is finally a real thing

Barbie introduces a 'Game Developer' doll, and she's even cooler than you thought.

by Hannah Ongley
17 June 2016, 4:40pm


Last year, Mattel gave budding female ComSci savants something to get excited about with a book called Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer. The book's blurb suggested it would be nothing less than epic, teasing a story about Barbie coding a game to teach girls about computers using puppies. The less cool plot twist was that Barbie's man friends would be doing all the actual coding. "I'll need Steven's and Brian's help to turn it into a real game," she disappointingly tells Skipper at one point. In response, computer science engineer Kathleen Tuite wrote a site called Feminist Hacker Barbie that allowed users to fix pages in the book.

Now the mistake has been corrected in a way that's just as brilliant. "Introducing the newest #Barbie career: Game Developer!" Barbie announced on Twitter this week, revealing the latest doll in the "You Can Be Anything" family.

Game Developer Barbie comes complete with hacker style quirky hair, oversized glasses, all-white (and on-trend) sneakers, and a T-shirt that "breaks the fashion code" with its hip graphic. Though the best part isn't Mattel's pun game nor Barbie's official title — it's her computer, which is a) the same color as Steven and Brian's computers and b) displaying real-life code. A writer for Slate pointed out that the program on Barbie's screen appears to be Alice, an educational programming environment, and it's outputting either ActionScript or Haxe. You can buy Game Developer Barbie, aka Feminist Hacker Barbie 2.0, for $12.99 on the Mattel website. Here's hoping her next incarnation comes with more diverse body shapes and skin tones.


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Mattel