Dan Bunten (Dani Bunten Berry) papers
The Dan Bunten (Dani Bunten Berry) papers are arranged into four series, two of which are further divided into subseries. The physical materials are housed in four archival document boxes, and the digital materials are stored on the internal network of The Strong.
- 1949 - 2012
- Majority of material found within 1983 - 1995
- Bunten, Dan (Designer, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
At this time, digital files in this collection are limited to on-site researchers only.
Please see The Strong's Digital Games Files Access Policy
Conditions Governing Use
1.75 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
1.82 Gigabytes (Digital files) : Accessible on-site at The Strong.
Bunten was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1949. Her large family later moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where Bunten lived for most of her life. She attended the University of Arkansas and graduated in 1974 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. Bunten grew interested in creating computer games and in 1978, published a business simulation game called Wheeler Dealers. Though that game sold only 50 copies, Bunten realized the social potential of multiplayer games. Bunten co-founded Ozark Softscape a year later, along with brother Bill Bunten, and friends James Rushing and Alan Watson. Ozark operated from the basement of Bunten’s Little Rock home, collaborating with larger distribution companies such as Strategic Simulations and Electronic Arts.
In 1983, Ozark released M.U.L.E., a multiplayer strategy game which required users to both compete against and cooperate with one another to colonize a planet. Reviewers lauded M.U.L.E., which sold 30,000 copies across various computer platforms. Ozark’s next game, Seven Cities of Gold (1984), designated players as explorers for the Spanish Empire in the 15th century. In all, Ozark designed five celebrated PC games for Electronic Arts. The original partnership of Ozark Softscape disbanded in 1993.
Bunten made the decision to undergo gender reassignment surgery in 1992, a transition to which she referred as her “pronoun change.” She lived the remainder of her life as Danielle Paula Berry, or Dani Bunten Berry. Bunten Berry continued to consult for game companies and soon reincorporated Ozark Softscape. In 1998, the Computer Game Developers Association conferred upon her their Lifetime Achievement Award. She passed away later that year from lung cancer at the age of 49. Numerous others have honored Bunten Berry, including Will Wright, who dedicated The Sims to her memory. The Academy of Arts and Sciences inducted Bunten Berry into their Hall of Fame in 2007.
System of Arrangement
Series I: Personal papers, c. 1950-2012
Series II: Ozark Softscape, Inc. materials, 1979-1996
Subseries A: Contracts and agreements
Subseries B: Other company documentation
Subseries C: Computer program codes
Series III: Game design information, 1982-1997
Subseries A: Unrestricted files
Subseries B: Restricted files
Series IV: Digital materials
- Finding Aid to the Dan Bunten (Dani Bunten Berry) Papers
- Julia Novakovic
- 18 September 2013
- Description rules
Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA