A thing I wrote about Carmen (OOC)

Jacqueline Hyde

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findcarmen.com
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I just randomly remembered I wrote something a while back on another forum that people here might like to read. We had a thread where we each submitted our 20 favorite video games and then the host combined all our lists to count down the forum's favorite games as a whole. This was my write-up for Where in the World:

It's difficult if not impossible for me to explain what Carmen Sandiego means to me. When I was ten years old, I was dealing with what was obviously crippling depression and anxiety while my parents stood by in denial. At that time, I found a lot of solace in Carmen's cartoon incarnation, who like me had trouble not being understood by others because of her intelligence. (Looking back, I realize it wasn't about my intelligence; it was about my social anxiety, brought on by my parents' frankly terrible choices. But that's beside the point.) She also shares a birthday with my late mom, which makes the day even more special to me now than it was while my mom was alive.

A few years ago, I had a revelation: Carmen wasn't just a character I loved. She was truly my hero. She's bold, smart, and (mostly) loyal, and while you could say the same of a lot of characters, Carmen's the one I imprinted on by virtue of being exposed to her so young. I genuinely look up to her still. And she was probably a very early, subconscious gender role model for me, as Madonna and Geri Halliwell were several years later.

I got to hear Rita "Legend" Moreno, the voice of cartoon!Carmen, speak year before last, and during the q&a portion worked up the nerve to ask a question - the first time I put myself on such public display post-transition. I got as far as explaining that Carmen was my hero when Rita interrupted to exclaim, "Really?!" and she was obviously so pleased, which was incredibly endearing.

Carmen Sandiego was my first fandom, and guess what? I'm still here, bitches. Carmen is for me what Harry Potter and Avatar are for a lot of people of my generation, and honestly, I consider myself fortunate for that. Just as Nancy Drew has inspired lots of women (especially in my field of librarianship) to be fearless and in control of their lives, Carmen has inspired me. And besides, thanks to the games and the TV shows I am to this day the absolute best at geography questions.

All that being said, why this entry in the series in particular? Well, it's not the one I played the most as a kid - that was USA - nor is it the most atmospheric - that would be Word or Math Detective - but for me, the 1996 version of World is the Carmen game that holds up best. I still learn new things playing it, and the game mechanics are just better than any previous or following game in the series. Plus the Good Guides and Carmine the cat stay iconic, to say nothing of The Chief.

Thanks, Carmen. I love you.

If you're interested, you can see people's responses here, and I have links to my commentary on a few other Carmen games (among others) here.
 
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Jacqueline Hyde

Time Thief
Best answers
5
AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Jackie, Sparkles, Priestess
Color #
e74f9a
Sounds like an ace idea - polling the forum on their top games and then compiling the rankings.
Maybr we should try that here...though i dunno if we have a big enough population to get decent data.
I keep thinking about this, btw. Anyone else on board? We could totes do it.
(tagging the gaming crowd @Chase @Eugene @Claire Yeon)
 

Jacqueline Hyde

Time Thief
Best answers
5
AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Jackie, Sparkles, Priestess
Color #
e74f9a
The titles I've played in the past few years is countable in only one hand, but I'll join. @Lee @Sophie @Patty @Deric Storm -- tagging you guys in case you also play.
That's the beautiful thing, though - if there's interest, I'll run it similarly to the one I participated in and any game from any time period would be eligible! I would probably make a "no Carmen" rule though.
 

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