Computer engineer Barbie

So there’s been a lot of attention lately on the book “Barbie: I can be a computer engineer”.  You can read the entire book here, but basically the story goes: Barbie is in a computer science class and has to make a game.  She is unable and unwilling to learn to code it on her own (she just makes up the design ideas) so gives it to 2 of her guy friends to turn in into a “real game”.  In the process she somehow infects both her and her sister’s computers with a virus, which she needs Steven and Brian to fix too.  TL:DR Barbie is incompetent, needs the help of her male friends to actually do anything, and at the end of the book takes credit for their work.

Thankfully, following the public outcry over the terribleness of this book, many rewritten versions which turn Barbie into an actually intelligent and proactive computer scientist have emerged.  One excellent one is found here; and you can even rewrite it yourself here (though this second link now has a lot of troll posts instead of actual feminist re-writings, its intent was admirable).

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3 Comments

  1. The original book is terrible, but it seems to have brought attention to an important issue and the backlash seems to have put out some realistic images of women in computer science. Remembering playing with Barbies as I kid, I realize many of the Barbies I had always had a theme… Barbie Bake With Me, Barbie Movie Star, Nurse Barbie. There was absolutely never a Computer Science Barbie. I wonder how much of an impact this would have if there was a themed Barbie promoting women in STEM, or just themes that don’t fit gender stereotypes.

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