Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt

Laine Nooney explores “How the Personal Computer Broke the Human Body” for VICE Motherboard


In an article for VICE Motherboard, Steinhardt MCC professor Laine Nooney explores the complex history of the personal computer and computer-related pain that it has inflicted on our bodies. In “How the Personal Computer Broke the Human Body,” Nooney discusses everything from eye strain caused by monitor glare to back pain from long hours of sitting, and the culture of keeping computing profitable by “finding ways to mitigate, negotiate, and address rising complaints of physical pains from its users.”

Read the VICE article

Nooney was also interviewed about this article live on Think, from KERA for NPR Dallas on June 2, 2021. You can listen to the interview on the Think Podcast.


portrait of Laine Nooney

To consider the history of computing through the lens of computer pain is to center bodies, users, and actions over and above hardware, software, and inventors.

Laine Nooney

Nooney is a media scholar and historian of video games and personal computing and holds an affiliate appointment with the Integrated Digital Media Program in the Tandon School of Engineering and with the Game Center at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Nooney’s forthcoming book project How the Computer Became Personal, a software history of the iconic Apple II personal computer is expected in Spring 2023 from the University of Chicago Press. And her research has been featured in popular media outlets such as The Atlantic, Flash Forward Podcast, The Internet History Podcast, and NPR, as well as academic journals such as Game Studies, The American Journal of Play, and Journal of Visual Culture.

Most recently, Nooney appeared on Bloomberg Quicktake to discuss gaming culture and trends that have arisen during the pandemic. 

Related Programs

Media, Culture, and Communication

Our media studies programs train agile researchers of a shifting media landscape. Learn to analyze media and technology in its cultural, social, and global contexts.

Read More