Advertisement

The Magnificent Memory Machine: The Nancy Drew Series and Female History

  • Robyn Hope
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Games in Context book series (PAGCON)

Abstract

In Herinteractive’s series of Nancy Drew point-and-click adventure games, many of the mysteries revolve around the secrets of historical-fictional women. In order to solve these cases, the player, through Nancy, must uncover the true stories of women who are wrongly maligned by traditional histories. The puzzle-focused gameplay paints the reconstruction of female history as a puzzle in itself, one requiring pieces of these women’s homes, words, and artifacts. Additionally, this negotiation of female history is not without its perils: the struggle to impact a misogynistic society motivates more than one of Nancy’s female villains. This chapter will demonstrate how games in the Nancy Drew series, through their gameplay and narratives, offer a model of how women’s history can be touched, accessed, and demystified.

Keywords

Gender Computer games Nancy Drew Historical fiction Women’s history 

Bibliography

  1. Cassell, Justine, and Henry Jenkins. 1998. From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Chapman, Adam. 2016. Digital Games as History: How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chess, Shira. 2015. Uncanny Gaming. Feminist Media Studies 15 (3): 382–396. Accessed March 1, 2016.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2014.930062.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fiske, John. 1989. Television Culture. London: Methuen & Co Ltd.Google Scholar
  5. Fuller, Mary, and Henry Jenkins. 1995. Nintendo and New World Travel Writing: A Dialogue. In Cybersociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community, ed. Steven G. Jones, 57–72. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Gilbert, Sandra, and Susan Gubar. 1984. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Kapell, Matthew Wilhelm, and Andrew B.R. Elliott. 2013. Introduction: To Build a Past That Will “Stand the Test of Time”. In Playing with the Past: Digital Games and the Simulation of History, ed. Matthew Wilhelm Kapell and Andrew B.R. Elliott, 1–23. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  8. Millar, Melanie Stewart. 1998. Cracking the Gender Code: Who Rules the Wired World? Toronto: Second Story Press.Google Scholar
  9. Pecora, Norma Odom. 1999. Identity by Design: The Corporate Construction of Teen Romance Novels. In Growing up Girls: Popular Culture and the Construction of Identity, ed. Sharon R. Mazarella and Norma Odom Pecora, 48–79. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  10. Perry, Sally E. 1997. The Secret of the Feminist Heroine: The Search for Values in Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton. In Nancy Drew and Company: Culture, Gender, and Girls’ Series, ed. Sherrie A. Inness, 145–158. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press.Google Scholar
  11. Sayer, Karen. 2003. Modern Women’s History: A Historiography. In Proceedings of History Week, ed. T. Curtis. Veritas Press.Google Scholar
  12. Siegel, Deborah L. 1997. Nancy Drew as New Girl Wonder: Solving it All for the 1930s. In Nancy Drew and Company: Culture, Gender, and Girls’ Series, ed. Sherrie A. Inness, 159–177. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press.Google Scholar
  13. Spender, Dale. 1982. Women of Ideas and What Men Have Done to Them: From Aphra Behn to Adrienne Rich. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  14. Taylor, T.L. 2006. Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robyn Hope
    • 1
  1. 1.Concordia UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations