Dona Bailey

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Dona Bailey is an American game programmer who, along with Ed Logg in 1981, created the arcade video game Centipede.[1][2]

As a young programmer Bailey was hired by General Motors and trained in assembly language programming. She worked there for two years on displays,[3] and microprocessor-based cruise control systems.[4] She became interested in Space Invaders and the world of arcade games, another application of the work she was doing at GM.[3] She found out that Atari was using the same microprocessor in its games.[2]

In 1980, Bailey joined Atari's coin-op division, where she was the only woman.[4] In an interview Bailey recalled that Atari had a notebook of possible game ideas at the time. Of the 30 or so entries the only one without "lasering or frying things" was a short description of a bug winding down the screen. "[I]t didn't seem bad to shoot a bug".[5]

Bailey left Atari in 1982 and went to work at Videa (also renamed, Sente Technologies), founded by three former Atari employees.[1] In 2007, she was the keynote speaker at the Women in Games International Conference. [3] Bailey holds M.Ed. and M.A. degrees and teaches as a faculty member in the department of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.[6]


  1. ^ a b Krueger, Anne (March 1983). "Welcome to the Club". Video Games 1 (6): 51–54, 81. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Ortutay, Barbara (30 June 2012). "Woman behind 'Centipede' recalls game icon's birth". Yahoo! Finance. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Alexander, Leigh (27 August 2007). "The Original Gaming Bug: 'Centipede' Creator Dona Bailey". Gamasutra. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: from Pong to Pokemon and beyond...the story behind the craze that touched our lives and changed the world. Prima. pp. 160–162. ISBN 978-0-7615-3643-7. 
  5. ^ Ortutay, Barbara (29 June 2012). "Iconic Atari turns 40, tries to stay relevant". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. 
  6. ^ "People | Rhetoric and Writing". University of Little Rock Arkansas. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 

See also[edit]

  • Carol Shaw, considered the first female video game designer.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]