Do a search for Computer Space and you will invariably find the infamous 70's flyer. There was a rumor at one time that the young lady shown in the photo is none other than Yvette Mimieux, the lead actress in the 1960 George Pal film The Time Machine. The rumor floating around seems to imply that the makers of the flyer wanted a model who was both beautiful as well as "space age." However, this rumor seems to have been debunked. Given where Computer Space was developed and the limited budget this machine would have had for advertising, the woman in question was more likely an employee of The Brass Rail bar, a favorite hangout of computer engineers in the Sunnyvale area. Given that The Brass Rail was a strip joint, one can draw one's own conclusion as to the young lady's career history.
The poster was recreated for the I Am 8 Bit exhibition in 2005. It was painted by Nikki Van Pelt and sold for $450.
Someone recently struck the famous pose of the poster girl while visitting the Game On exhibit. The machine converted to a Pong game was displayed in 2008 at the exhibit in Australia. IGN has run an article regarding the Melbourne show which has several photographs of the red game. This red unit appears to be in bad shape, its control panel has a couple of holes where "Computer Space" is displayed. The unit also does not appear to be functional.
The poster and girl do seem to have been the object of several artistic renditions as you can see below.
The girl for the Computer Space poster has been making the rounds recently, appearing beside the artist Bassobese on his new single "Computer Space Sauce". Bassobese contacted me and said he was into the funky retro look and the Computer space poster just called out to him as an image. He called the song Computer Space Sauce mainly because "sauce" was the only word he could make out of the letters for Computer Space and he wanted to use the same lettering seen in the advertising flyer. Bassobese's website can be found here where you can download the mp3, the myspace site where this image was taken from is here.
A Dutch firm has designed a cabinet for home gaming use that allows buyers to play emulated classic video games in their home. The machine is fully outfitted with licensed games, durable controls, and a high definition (1080p) display. The designer informs he was so impressed with the sleek lines of the original Computer Space that he intentionally echoed its look when he made the Retrospace cabinet. He even replicated the classic poster on his homepage. Click here to visit the Retrospace homepage or click here to see a larger version of the picture..
Now, the owner of SN10290 advises that Lara, the model who posed for this picture, has met his Computer space machine and, of course, he asked her to strike the famous pose once more. The entire story can be read on the owner's site here.
Amazingly enough a previously unknown (by me) image of Poster Girl has surfaced. An Italian visitor to my site (who previously advised of the old magazine he had featuring a coin operated trade show in March of 1972 in Milan) directed me to his website where he has a collection of images, videos, and articles regarding Computer Space as well as other vintage machines of that era. The image is clearly the same girl during the same photoshoot but has not been seen in any internet searches before.
Click HERE to see a larger version.
Anita Sarkeesian's Freminist Frequency show regarding Tropes vs Women in Video Games included a segment about Poster Girl.
Click here to watch the episode.
It is unfortiunate that even at the dawn of the video game industry, women were used as decoration and sadly Computer Space was no different.