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.”
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.
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.