It started with a YouTuber named Brutalmoose. In particular, a video he made about a relic from my childhood: Where in the U.S.A. is Carmen Sandiego?
CD-ROM games were an important part of my upbringing. I still remember the large boxes with the colorful art promoting a fun experience for me and a learning opportunity so I could convince my parents that a fifty dollar game was a good investment in my education. Although I played Carmen Sandiego religiously, and I did learn a few things, I am still not sure where Carlsbad Caverns is. Kentucky? Is it Kentucky?
Anyway, I watched a Brutalmoost video about Carmen Sandiego and it brought back a flood of memories. From Math Blasters to Diablo and finally, The Baby-Sitters Club Friendship Kit.
I first saw this game in a BSC Newsletter. I was a paying member of the Fan Club (mostly so I could get the diaries and pens) and with my membership, I received a newsletter. When I saw that black and white ad for a CD-ROM game, I knew I had to have it. I saved up my money and ordered it from the newsletter. An eternity later, I received the game.
The game centers around you being inducted as the newest member of the BSC, but the game itself isn’t really a game. It’s more of a personal organizer. There is a calendar and an address book. There are a few mini-games, but not much else.
It may seem like a lacking experience, but it wasn’t because of two things: the letters and the journal.
The game has a computer where you can input information about yourself: your favorite tv show, your family, your best friend, your personality traits. With that information, you get personalized letters from the BSC. I used to change the clock on my computer just so I could get more than one each day. Those letters were my life.
The journal is the other thing that is interesting. Throughout the year, the other baby-sitters write in it. About their charges, schoolwork, or whatever else. I changed the clock on my computer so I could get a new journal entry.
Well, thanks to a virtual machine and the internet’s uncanny archival abilities, I’m the newest member of the BSC and I’m going to chronicle their lives and share the letters I receive. It’s
A Year With the BSC