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Joyce A. Weisbecker papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 121.1207a
The Joyce A. Weisbecker papers are a collection of correspondence, invoices, agreements, and program printouts retained by Weisbecker while working as a contractor for RCA from 1976-1977. She programmed games for both the RCA Studio II and the Cosmac VIP.

The Joyce A. Weisbecker papers have been arranged into one series and are housed in one archival document box.


  • 1976 - 1982



The materials in this collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, she has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 archival document box)


The Joyce A. Weisbecker papers contain documentation related to her contract programming work for RCA in 1976-1977.

Biographical Note

Joyce Ann Weisbecker (1958– ) is an American engineer and actuary. She is recognized as the first female commercial video game designer.

The daughter of a teacher and an RCA engineer, Weisbecker learned how to program on her father Joseph’s experimental homemade computer system, which they called “FRED” (for “Flexible Recreational & Educational Device”). After graduating high school, Joseph Weisbecker asked Joyce if she would like to program video games for RCA, and she was hired as a contractor in 1976. For the RCA Studio II, Joyce programmed TV School House I (a two-player computer quiz which required the use of a supplemental question booklet) and the combination cartridge Speedway—Tag (a racing game and a chase/tag game, both for two players). She estimated that these games took about 200 hours of work in full to program. Joyce also programmed three additional games for the RCA Cosmac VIP [Slide, Sum Fun, and Sequence Shoot] while under contract with RCA.

Weisbecker double-majored in Computer Engineering and Actuarial Science at Rider College (now, University). After working as an actuary for nearly 20 years, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Computer Science. She has since retired.

For additional information on Weisbecker, see Benj Edwards’ interview “Rediscovering History’s Lost First Female Video Game Designer,” published by Fast Company in 2017.

System of Arrangement

Series I: RCA programming documentation, 1976-1982

Custodial History

The Joyce A. Weisbecker papers were donated to The Strong in July 2021 as a gift of Joyce Ann Weisbecker. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 121.1207 and were received from Weisbecker in one envelope, along with the Joseph A. Weisbecker licensing agreement documentation, 1968-1971 (AS resource ID 121.1207b).

Processing Information

Julia Novakovic, August 2021
Finding Aid to the Joyce A. Weisbecker Papers, 1976-1982
Julia Novakovic
23 August 2021
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)