Are there video games from your past that you loved growing up that no one else seems to have heard of before? There certainly are for me, and for many, there seems to be almost no information available online even today. I have a feeling that many young people played games from Theresa Duncan, but have since been unable to rediscover those now obscure classics. The Theresa Duncan CD-ROM Kickstarter campaign is looking to change that. The rest of the project title proclaims these to be “visionary video games for girls.” Not only is this true, but these are games which deserve to be played by a new generation as well.
In the 90s PC game makers were creating all kinds of intriuging products. Of course, much of the industry was heading in the direction of ponderous high fantasy or games where you spend the entirety as a gun-equipped killer. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with these game types, it left players looking for non-violent, whimsical adventures out in the cold. Theresa Duncan directed games such as Chop Suey, Smarty, and Zero Zero which included adventurous, entertaining stories for players to enjoy. With young girls as protagonists, these pioneering games also helped some girls recognize that they too could go on amazing and imaginative quests in games.
Rhizome, a contemporary art organization, intends to preserve Chop Suey, Smarty, and Zero Zero for future generations to enjoy. They will do this by making all three games available online for free, making them incredibly easy to access. The Theresa Duncan CD-ROM campaign needs $20,000 to succeed and if they can keep up the pace it looks like they’re poised to make that.