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Brenda Laurel


“What is unique about my work is that I have been driven by really hard-core humanistic values, basic ideas about fairness, the notion that doing the right thing may be harder but that doesn’t give you an excuse not to do it. I associate those things with the ethics and morality of the farm people I came from.” 

Placeholder, 1993. Courtesy of Brenda Laurel.
From New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts.


Brenda Laurel is the Principal, Neogaian Interactive and has worked in interactive media since 1976 as a designer, researcher, writer and teacher. In 2015, she received the Trailblazer Award from Indiecade for her distinguished accomplishment over a career of game creation. In 2018, she was honored by the Virtual World Society with the Nextant Prize. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). Her books include The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design (1990), Utopian Entrepreneur (2001), Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (2004), and Computers as Theatre, Second Edition (2014). She earned her BA (1972) from DePauw University and her MFA (1975) and PhD in Drama Theory and Criticism (1986) from The Ohio State University.


"I found myself in a situation where it was just me and the twenty-year-old guys. There were never any women around. Lynn Hershman was out in California at that time. Lynn really urged Steve Sacks, my gallerist, to put me in the gallery."

–Claudia Hart

Roberta Construction Chart #2, 1975, Lynn Hershman
20”x24” Vintage dye transfer print

From the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection, Digital photograph by James Prinz Photography


performance art, computer/video games, virtual realityperformance art, computer/video games, virtual reality

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