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Her Interactive, Inc. collection

 Collection — Box: 1-6
Identifier: 113.2102
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.


  • 1996 - 2012
  • Majority of material found within 1999 - 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.


3.5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)


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.

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.

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

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. An additional lot of papers (approx. 0.2 linear feet) was received from Gaiser in December 2018 and accessioned under Object ID 118.10789.

Revision Note

Revised in May 2019 to reflect addition of second accession lot.

Processed by

Julia Novakovic, May-June 2013, May 2019



Finding Aid to the Her Interactive, Inc. Collection, 1996-2012
Julia Novakovic
8 May 2013
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)