If you were to ask any of my family members or friends what reminds me of them, I guarantee you many of them would say the Nancy Drew computer games. I am known for quoting them daily, staying up to date on all Nancy Drew news, and playing them many times. All in all, loving Nancy Drew games is a huge part of my identity.
As a young girl, I always knew who Nancy Drew was. While I’ve only read a handful of the classic novels, my sister and I did own a small collection of them. I also watched the 2007 movie quite often as a girl. When I was first introduced to the games, it was through my older sister. She was given a couple of the games once when I was around eight. Being the annoying little sister I was, I felt a need to copy everything she did, which included playing the same computer games. So, we both played these games, sometimes together and sometimes on our own. They were somewhat hard for a young girl as they’re very puzzle-based. I still have vivid memories of playing the fifth game, The Final Scene, and being completely lost on what to do!
As we got older, my sister stopped playing the games, but I didn’t. It was hard for me to finish the games until I found guidance on the online message boards. From then on, I made it my mission to complete as many games as possible. I played them through free trials on online gaming servers, got the physical copies for Christmases and birthdays, and dragged my family to Target or Best Buy to complete my collection. Today, I own at least one physical copy of each of the 33 main games and 2 hidden object spin-offs. Even though I haven’t finished three of the games, I’ve replayed the rest countless times. I see myself as a true Nancy Drew detective!
Some may wonder why these games geared towards children still fascinate 21-year-old me. There are a million reasons I could give about why I love these games so much! One main reason is definitely the comfort the games provide me with. As an anxious person, escaping to the worlds of the games where I know what will happen next is very comforting. While the cores of the games never change, the detail of each gives them great replay value. Plus, each game has cutscenes or mini-mysteries that are only triggered in certain playthroughs, so it’s very fun to see how many I get each time!
I have found a great community of gamers who love these games as much as I do. Connecting on social media sites, these gamers share stories, theories, and jokes about the games. I’ve loved reading their posts and contributing my own thoughts and jokes to these sites. Since the games are obscure, I love connecting with people who also love the games.
The Nancy Drew games are also very empowering. I’m sure most people have at least heard of Nancy Drew: the teen detective who has been solving thrilling mysteries for close to a century. The games allow you to step into her shoes, as you play as Nancy herself. I always feel very empowered during each game, playing as a brilliant, brave girl who can solve centuries-old mysteries, rescue people, and even complete a spy mission. The mysteries each allow you to solve puzzles based on various topics, whether they are based on the sciences, history, or different cultures. Through the games, I have learned about Marie Antoinette, the Mayan civilization, Edgar Allan Poe, Ancient Greece, electricity, whales, and so much more. All in all, it’s extremely empowering as a young woman to play games that emphasize the power being a girl can hold. We can be brave, smart, assertive, caring, and so many other traits society may deny us as having. The Nancy Drew computer games have shaped me into who I am in so many ways, and I am so grateful for them!
Girl Museum Inc.