Her Interactive, Inc. collection Edit


Finding Aid Author
Julia Novakovic
Finding Aid Date
8 May 2013
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


  • 1996 – 2012 (Creation)
  • 1999 – 2005 (Creation)


  • 3.25 Linear Feet (Whole)

Agent Links



  • Abstract

    The Her Interactive, Inc. Collection is a compilation of notes, correspondence, newspaper and magazine articles, questionnaires, release forms, press releases, VHS tapes, DVDs, and a comprehensive game design binder. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1999 and 2005.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, they have given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.

  • Custodial History

    The Her Interactive Collection was donated to The Strong in May 2012 as a gift from Megan Gaiser of Her Interactive, Inc. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 113.2102. The papers were received from Megan Gaiser of Her Interactive, Inc., in three boxes. Numerous electronic games from Her Interactive, Inc. were also donated to The Strong at the same time.

  • Preferred citation for publication

    Her Interactive, Inc. Collection, Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong

  • Historical Note

    Her Interactive, Inc. was founded in 1995 as a division of American Laser Games. At the time, there were no major computer game designers in the United States concentrating on games for girls. Her Interactive performed research studies and gathered focus groups of adolescent and teenage girls to determine what girls wanted in a computer game. Their results found that girls were dissatisfied with violence, secret rules, and lackluster storylines in the existing PC games market. Her Interactive soon published its first titles, McKenzie & Company (1995) and The Vampire Diaries (1997). Two years later, Her Interactive acquired licensing rights from Simon & Schuster Publishing to develop a Nancy Drew mystery computer game series, demonstrating a clear understanding of what would be rewarding for girl gamers while faithfully adapting the Nancy Drew canon. In 1998, Her Interactive released Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill to much acclaim. Several additional titles in the Nancy Drew series were released in the late 1990s.

    Her Interactive utilized its in-house “teen advisory board” to make improvements to story ideas and characters; they added varying skill levels, directive statements, and second chances to fix critical errors made during missions. Users and critics lauded smart, adventurous Nancy Drew as an ideal character and role model for girls. Games from Her Interactive were targeted at girls aged 10-15, though the games had broad appeal. Her Interactive continued their focus on creating challenging, fun, and collaborative gameplay, and they have released over 25 games in the Nancy Drew series. Her Interactive has sold more than 9 million Nancy Drew games, making it the number one mystery franchise in the PC game market.

    Her Interactive has significantly impacted the computer games industry with their successful development of high-quality, creative games for girls of all ages. They did not simply package their products in pink boxes and declare them “for girls”-- they put great effort into researching what types of games and features would appeal to young female gamers. Her Interactive’s singular focus on games for girls, along with its longevity, has made it stand out from other companies.

  • Collection Scope and Content Note

    The Her Interactive, Inc. collection contains materials from 1996-2012. This collection holds a sampling of internal files from Her Interactive along with information on game design and the company’s teen advisory board. A substantial portion of this collection is newspaper and magazine articles focusing on Her Interactive, computer games for girls, and the growth of that particular market from the late 1990s on. Materials in this collection include notes, correspondence, newspaper and magazine articles, questionnaires, release forms, press releases, VHS tapes, DVDs, and a comprehensive game design binder.

    This collection has been arranged into five series, with one further divided into subseries. The materials are housed in six archival document boxes.

  • System of Arrangement

    Series I: Game production, 1999-2012

    Series II: Advisory panel and focus groups, 1997-2000

    Series III: Her Interactive, Inc. internal files, 1997-2011

    Series IV: Awards, 1999-2001

    Series V: News and publicity, 1997-2005

    Subseries A: Newspaper and magazine articles
    Subseries B: Video coverage

External Documents


  • Type
    Container 1 Type
    Container 1 Indicator
    Container 1 Barcode
    Her Interactive, Inc. collection