April 23, 2014

Electronic ARts-Tiburon

A Gaming Rarity

| 6/1/2005

A GAMING RARITY

Video game design and development is a man's world. On average, more than 90% of industry workers are male.

Don't tell Amanda Eubanks.

The 24-year-old Tampa native and Dartmouth College grad is completing her first year as a programmer at Orlando's Electronic Arts-Tiburon. "It's always something new, and I'm constantly encouraged to add my own creative input," she says.

Eubanks applied for a job with the gaming giant after getting a tip from a friend who works for an industry competitor. "It seemed like a fun way to use my computer science degree." She's one of the programmers who write the millions of lines of code required for EA-Tiburon's popular Madden NFL video game series.

Working with a team of 11 others, Eubanks is charged with improving what she calls the "immersive experience" of the game, allowing the game player to feel more like a coach or a team owner. One of her first assignments was to help write the code that determines player match-ups, pitting each team's defensive stars against their opponents on offense.

Much of her work is tedious: Searching through the existing code, "pulling it apart" and adding features without disrupting existing functions.

Like her counterparts (male and female), Eubanks nurtures a passion for video games. Her current favorite: Kingdom Hearts, a fantasy adventure that features cameo appearances by Disney characters. "A lot of my friends think I get paid to play video games," she laughs. "That's not the case, but it's still a great job and a great place to start my career."

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