Kids in the late 1980s and 1990s had one mission stood above the rest: finding Carmen Sandiego. There were computer games devoted to the pursuit, as well as popular TV game shows like Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? It was on this show that we got the first-ever live-action portrayal of the titular criminal mastermind. There was only one problem. The role was uncredited, the actress' identity a mystery worthy of ACME Detective Agency. Until now!
Where in the world was Glen when this episode was recorded? That's not important. Victoria, Carolyn, and Dan carried on without him to talk about Godzilla, action figures, spending cash money (on action figures), the Tinder for jobs, vampire mice, the Twitter/Amazon deal, and their Editors' Picks for the week.
On July 13th the PBS Tumblr posted this photo, of a recognizable red hat and black glove combination with the caption,
Where in the world did this come from? Stay tuned for something awesome!
It would appear that we have a mystery on out hands. However, the question today isn't "where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?", but where in time will we be getting what looks a lot like more of our favorite jet-setting villain. Children of the 90's, start looking for clues!
The sheer amount of costuming going on at Comic-Con is mind-boggling. Trying to come up with a "best of" list would be foolish (especially considering we weren't there to see them with our own eyes), not to mention insane, but we have come across several online that really impressed us. So here's our first roundup of Comic-Con cosplay pictures for your fan-gazing perusal.
“We want to motivate them to learn about the world,” game show host Greg Lee once told the Associated Press, sometime in the past century (1992) Lee had just taken the helm at a children’s education show entitled Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, whose plot demanded the children observe the command of their boss at Interpol, The Chief (Lynne Thigpen), to capture the elusive monument thief. The premise of the show, based on a video game, at once was to maintain the audience of older children as they graduated from Sesame Street and morning shows meant for younger folk. No one in my generation doubts that it did just that. But what the creators of the Carmen Sandiego video game and program franchise could have never anticipated was the cultural impact Sandiego had on one particular demographic following the canon— Latin American girls.
Okay, before we begin to instantly worry about the very mention of Jennifer Lopez being involved with something as beloved as Carmen Sandiego, let's hear her out. Walden Media has acquired the rights to Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego? and has teamed up with Lopez to develop a live-action, full-length feature film about the globe-trotting thief. Lopez, who is attached to produce (not star), hopes to turn this into a family-friendly caper reminiscent of the National Treasure movies and The Thomas Crown Affair. Wait, what? That ... might be pretty awesome, actually!
The strong silhouette is a very important aspect of character design, not just in comics, animation, and film where I'm guessing you could identify most of your favorite characters simply by their profile, but also in videogames, where players need to be able to discern, at a glance, whether that approaching enemy is Horde or Alliance, Spy or Scout, Witch or Tank.
We think that's why we're so fascinated with the pop-culture papercut portraits of Olly Moss, especially the ones of live action characters played by humans. These characters have considerably less character design in their making than their drawn and animated counterparts, and yet, as subtle as they are, they are still completely recognizable.
We're generally pretty scornful of Facebook games here. It's hard to have much sympathy for games that appear, to an outsider, to be glorified click counters that flood feeds with grabby announcements about joining the game. That is, unless the game draws directly on a very easily sympathetic part of your brain:
Finally, being a long standing member of the I Just Tried To Ford the River and My F****n Oxen Died Facebook group will pay off, when Blue Fang Games brings not only The Oregon Trail but Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego to Facebook next month.
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? is one of those cultural touchstones that tends to be fondly remembered by the valuable 18-34 demographic, and has inspired countless nostalgia-based Facebook groups to that end: It was one of the first computer games that was any fun, and one of the rare "edutainment" games of all time that wasn't desperately snore-inducing.
Sure, you were forced to learn about geography from puzzlingly unhelpful townspeople, (they knew obscure landmarks in cities, but not the names of the cities themselves?) but you were also up against one of the most ingenious thieves of all time. She even managed to steal the game-winning puck from the Stanley Cup, the Strait of Magellan (how is that possible? --Ed.) and even a monkey-eating eagle. If you've got to learn that Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland to stop that sort of ruthless criminal, it's worth it.
Here, via Wikipedia, is a complete list of fifty things that Carmen Sandiego stole in Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?