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Brenda Laurel is best known for her work with Purple Moon, the pioneering game company she cofounded in the 1990s. Purple Moon's games were based on years of research Laurel completed in an effort to understand why computer games seemed to be of so little interest to girls. Using diverse archival sources such as trade journals, newspapers, and recorded interviews, alongside Laurel's completed games and own writings and an original interview with Laurel herself, this volume offers insight into both the early development of the games for girls movement of the 1990s and the lasting impact of Laurel's game design breakthroughs.
In her work with Purple Moon, Laurel drew on her background in theatre as well as her expertise in human computer interaction and qualitative research. By relying on this interdisciplinary background, Laurel made significant contributions to our understanding of the design and development of games as a medium for emotional rehearsal and storytelling. Additionally, her dedication to research-informed design has had a longstanding impact as companies and designers increasingly rely on audience research and metrics to shape their practices. The newest in Bloomsbury's Influential Video Game Designers series, Carly Kocurek highlights the contributions of a designer whose work has had a profound impact on the development of both games for girls and empathy games.