May 20, 2018
Youth Advisory Board: Anneke Wyman
This is the second episode in a series of interviews with the
kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board.
In 1982-1983, Atari invited 20 kids, aged 14-18, to be on its
new Youth Advisory Board. Atari was looking for well-rounded,
computer-literate kids, with equal representation of sexes and a
mix of ethnic groups. Anneke Wyman (now Anneke Wyman de Boer) was
one of those kids.
A wire service article about the Youth Advisory Board, by
Kathy Holub, ran in several newspapers around March 25, 1983.
Here's an excerpt from that story:
"The fat world of corporate perks isn't just for executives
anymore. On Sunday, 14-year-old Anneke Wyman of New York flew to
San Francisco on a prepaid plane ticket to dine out on pizza and
attend her first corporate board meeting. ...
"As members of Atari Inc.’s new Youth Advisory Board, they got
the sort of pampering reserved for top corporate clients, including
a private movie screening, a tour of San Francisco and all the food
they could eat.
"What did they do to deserve all this? They can’t figure it
out. 'It's almost a fantasy,' Anneke said, giggling. 'I had a
three-minute interview calling from a pay phone at school. The dime
ran out and I thought, well, I’ll never hear from them again. A few
weeks later, they told me I was in. Now I'm sort of nervous.'
"The video game market, once monopolized by Atari, has become
as fiercely competitive as the home computer and educational
software markets, and Atari hopes the kids can keep the company on
the right track on all fronts...The 20 young board members are
expected to keep Atari in touch with its market. ...
"Anneke has danced in about 60 performances of The Nutcracker
Suite with the New York City Ballet and can write computer programs
in four languages. Her career? 'I don’t know yet,’ she said. 'But
I'm much better in math and science.'"