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It's About Ethics In Doll Journalism: Meet Game Developer Barbie

By Kristy Puchko | Miscellaneous | June 17, 2016 |

By Kristy Puchko | Miscellaneous | June 17, 2016 |

To battle the boys clubness found in STEM fields, incredible initiatives, clever toys, and engaging cartoon shows are being created to encourage girls to revel in science and tech. In this vein, Mattel is offering a rad aspirational figure with Game Developer Barbie.


They nailed the look, down to the chic glasses, sensible sneakers, bold hair color and graphic tee. And hey, girls can use their imagination to put GDB into all kinds of career paths.
Swap that snug tee and jeans for an oversized promotional top and a pair of super comfy pajama pants, and girls could authentically live the enviable realness of the “works from home” entertainment blogger. (Couch work-space playset and Twitter addiction sold separately.)


Anyhow, this is a major course correct in the wake of Mattel’s last attempt at a STEM aspirational Barbie. Remember Computer Engineer Barbie?


Though the doll won a 2010 fan vote that put her into production, Computer Engineer Barbie was derided for her pink glasses and matching pink keyboard. But the real hellfire came when parents discovered the sexist messaging in her cross-promotional book Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer. In it, Barbie only “designs” the games and brings in the boys to actually code them. Then she gets a computer virus and has to call on Steven and Brian to fix it. Because every girl’s favorite part of playing Barbie is when Ken mansplains to her.


Online outcry (that included a Feminist Hacker Barbie site), spurred Mattel to pull the dumb book. And now they have offered up Game Developer Barbie as an apparent apology. And a pretty solid one. Mattel got even its teeniest details down, including actual coding on Barbie’s laptop screen, and decking her office (box art) out with action figures, joysticks, and Chinese takeout.

And apparently the doll is in demand. As of writing this post, Amazon only had one left in stock.

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Shocking. Doing right by girls is actually good business!

UPDATE: Game Developer Barbie is only $12.99 on

H/T Geek Girl Diva

Kristy Puchko wrote this is pajamas. #blessed

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Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.