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Thread: I am about to ask one of the weirdest questions of my life..

  1. #1
    Pretzel (Level 4)
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    Default I am about to ask one of the weirdest questions of my life..

    Ok...the programmer of the game M.U.L.E. is now a male-to-female transexual. One of the programmers for the Bally Astrocade is a male-to-female transexuals. Number one, are there any more '80's programmers who are MTF transexuals? Number two, if this is common or at least there are more examples, has anyone looked into the statistics of transexuals and electronics(which would also include Wendy Carlos) and whether there might be some sort of correlation?

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    Flawless Rawkality Flack's Avatar
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    I haven't done any research or looked up any studies, but those are two or three people out of the millions of programmers responsible for the tens of thousands of games that have come out over the years. My guess is, the ratio is probably representative of the general population.

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    Default Re: I am about to ask one of the weirdest questions of my li

    Quote Originally Posted by kirin jensen
    Ok...the programmer of the game M.U.L.E. is now a male-to-female transexual. One of the programmers for the Bally Astrocade is a male-to-female transexuals. Number one, are there any more '80's programmers who are MTF transexuals? Number two, if this is common or at least there are more examples, has anyone looked into the statistics of transexuals and electronics(which would also include Wendy Carlos) and whether there might be some sort of correlation?
    I vaguely recall hearing that one of the Kitchen brothers was a tranny, but never bothered to investigate that rumor. Can anyone confirm/deny?

    Dan Bunten/Dani Bunten Berry is long deceased, alas. I got to interview her over the phone a few months before her death, and I tried my best to be an impartial journo instead of a fanboy, but I doubt I pulled it off.

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    I'll let you know if we study this in pathology class.

    I had no idea that Wendy Carlos was a transexual, by the way.

    Transexualism is more common than people might think, however. Many children are born pseudohemaphrodites with certain chromosomal abnormalities (like XXY or they may have a deletion on their Y chromosome in the region that makes your body react to testosterone) and have what they call "ambiguous" genitalia. Either that or the type of genitalia they have does not correspond with what sex they should be according to their genome. In the case of ambiguity, many parents have decided to just pick a sex and go with it based on what the baby's internal organs look like, or if they just really wanted a boy or a girl. Often the child grows up with the complete opposite hormonal profile and wants a sex change by the time they're 30. The same happens if, say, the kid has a wiener and a pair of ovaries.

    True hemaphroditism (having both ovaries and testes) is really, really rare, but the above situations are common enough for me to say that those examples you pointed out are just coincidence. But I'm not an epidemiologist, so that's just my guess based on my studies the past 2 years.

    Boy, it's really wierd to be writing about this on DP.

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    You refer to Dan Bunten "switching" to Dani Bunten (M.U.L.E.) and Jay Fenton "switching" to Jaime Fenton (Astrocade, Gorf).

    There are others.

    For example, Steve Kitchen, who designed Space Shuttle for Activision and Carnival for Coleco (both for the Atari 2600) changed sex.

    There's also Walter Carlos, who composed the music for the arcade version of TRON, later referred to as Wendy Carlos.

    Don't forget William Mataga, designer of the classic "Shamus", he's known as Cathryn Mataga these days.

    Another one for ya. Jennifer Reitz, who did a bunch of stuff for Activision, (including Shanghai, Transformers, and Aliens) and founder of Happy Puppy wasn't originally a female.

    Let us also not forget John Hardie, who once went by the name Jeanette Hardie. Aspirations to become a ballet dancer went somewhat askew as the desire to drink beer became a focal point in her young life.

    Incidentally, I've met a few of these individuals and they're good people. The swap from one gender to another may seem prevalent in this industry, but it certainly seems this is where these folks belong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digitalpress
    Let us also not forget John Hardie, who once went by the name Jeanette Hardie. Aspirations to become a ballet dancer went somewhat askew as the desire to drink beer became a focal point in her young life.


    That'll do it everytime.

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    Alex (Level 15)
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    Wow, all of THOSE people?



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    Default Re: I am about to ask one of the weirdest questions of my li

    Quote Originally Posted by kirin jensen
    Ok...the programmer of the game M.U.L.E. is now a male-to-female transexual. One of the programmers for the Bally Astrocade is a male-to-female transexuals. Number one, are there any more '80's programmers who are MTF transexuals? Number two, if this is common or at least there are more examples, has anyone looked into the statistics of transexuals and electronics(which would also include Wendy Carlos) and whether there might be some sort of correlation?
    Someone's gotta ask, so it may as well be me: WHY do you want to know this?! I'm just curious. There's gotta be a great story behind this question.
    Formerly the poster known as Retro Pro

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) orangemage's Avatar
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    Default Re: I am about to ask one of the weirdest questions of my li

    Someone's gotta ask, so it may as well be me: WHY do you want to know this?! I'm just curious. There's gotta be a great story behind this question.
    OH don't act like you didn't want to know what 80's game programmers were transexuals

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) ianoid's Avatar
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    Transgender is by no means common, but it attracts alot of attention, so it's easy to rattle off the folks who fall into this category. It's particularly fascinating.

    Congenital anomalies are also quite uncommon. There are probably fewer than 5 centers in the country who have experience dealing with gender correction for children.

    Who knew your sex was a multiple choice proposition? Of course, it beckons the question of sensation. This probably belongs in Off-Topic.

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    I'ts like ive been living in the shadows....who would of guessed
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    I'm sorry I checked this thread. I'll be leaving now.
    Currently catching up on PSN, WiiWare, Wii U E-Shop and Xbox Live Arcade exclusives I missed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digitalpress
    Another one for ya. Jennifer Reitz, who did a bunch of stuff for Activision, (including Shanghai, Transformers, and Aliens) and founder of Happy Puppy wasn't originally a female.
    Jennifer Diane Reitz??? I talked to her over the internet about 4 years back and she's really cool stuff. However I had NO clue she was an Activision programmer or a Happy Puppy founder. Damn, learn something new every day, eh?

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    ServBot (Level 11) Iron Draggon's Avatar
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    I bet it would be an even bigger shocker for some folks to find out how many people in the gaming industry are gay. I'd say that straight people are a rarity, and a very small minority in the business, just like it is with Hollywood.
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    I don't know if straight people would be a rarity, but I would think that gay people would be, say, a larger minority than in the overall populace.

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    ServBot (Level 11) slip81's Avatar
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    All of the peoplpe named so far have been from the Atari era, has anyone from the 8-bit and beyond changed sex or was it just something about programming in the early 80's?

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    Wow, I thought I'd discussed everything as far as gaming went - I was wrong. Interesting read for sure, thanks for bringing it up and to those who responded.

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    hey,as long as they make or program great games for me to play,really who cares if there hedrosexual,homosexual,used to be a man and now there a woman,or whatever.
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    Yup, Cathryn Mataga programmed GTA Advance. (My name's in the credits too )

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    Banana (Level 7)
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    , this has to be one of the weirdest topics ever ! I get the impression that most of these game designers were from the early 80's (Atari era). Are there any trannys from the NES making days ?

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    Banana (Level 7)
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    not to sound rude, but in response to pookninja, who really cares regardless?

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    Quote Originally Posted by josekortez
    I'm sorry I checked this thread. I'll be leaving now.
    Was that really necessary?

    Jaime Fenton's a good dancer, btw.

    Kristine
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    Starman (Level 23) Phosphor Dot Fossils's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slip81
    All of the peoplpe named so far have been from the Atari era, has anyone from the 8-bit and beyond changed sex or was it just something about programming in the early 80's?
    Something perhaps to bear in mind is that the first generation of game programmers tended to be of a bit of a counterculture bent - it was an odd occupation, and as some of them have said in interviews, they could've made boatloads more money doing programming for the military, but the ones who programmed games chose not to do that with their skills. And it's a fair bet that this same free-spirited subculture would also be more likely to directly address any unresolved gender identity issues and go in for the operation.

    But as someone else already said, they made some damn dandy games, so it's really not an issue. Hell, even the programmers who started as women were cooking up games that could kick my ass in seconds flat (I'm looking at you, Carol Shaw's River Raid).

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    Bell (Level 8) Sanriostar's Avatar
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    I've always viewed this topic as the lil' secret of Classic gaming. It's just something you notice after being in it for a while.

    My Jamie Fenton story:

    I was able to go to CGE in 2000 and 2001, and at the 2000 CGE, I was able to get to pick Jamie's brain about the ever elusive sequel, Ms.Gorf. She gave me the lowdown (60% complete, on 8 1/2 disks in a safe deposit box somewhere) and I felt satisfied.

    CGE2001: She's giving her presentation, and what does she pull out but friggin' videotape of the game!
    "I was asked about this game last year, so I thought I'd answer the question a bit better"

    That was great of her to do that.
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  25. #25
    Pretzel (Level 4)
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    Default Thanks to all who replied

    My main reason for asking was that it seemed there was a fairly high incidence among such a small population(80's programmers). Admittedly, smnall populations are by nature inherently anomolous. Everyone's input on this is much appreciated. And, yes, it says something about me, but that's a really long story.

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