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Template:Citations broken Script error McKenzie & Co. was an full-motion video CD-ROM dating sim game released by Her Interactive in 1995,[1] designed to be played by girls. It was available for Windows 95 and Mac OS.[2] "McKenzie" is the name of the protagonist's car—an acronym of Marvelous, Cool, Kinetic movement, Ever-lasting friendship, Non-conformist, Zany, Ingenious, and Empowered.

Development

The game was developed with the active involvement of the Albuquerque Independent School District. Through the district, American Laser Games' vice-president of marketing Patricia Flannigan distributed surveys, conducted interviews, and held play study groups in order to design a game that her daughters would play.[3]

The game included a music CD featuring several bands from New Mexico, such as Poet, Cool Notes, Tee Green from the UK, and the Strawberry Zots, whose music video "And You" was also included. Music tracks from composer Jean Rene De Rascon were also included.

Reaction

Although major publishers declined to distribute the title, because they didn't believe there was a market for girl-oriented games, the 5-CD game was successful, selling over 80,000 units in its lifetime.[3] An expansion pack, McKenzie & Co: More Friends, featuring new male characters James and Aaron.

McKenzie & Co. received a lot of press attention for being one of the few girl-oriented games developed in the United States. Her Interactive was one of the first companies in the United States established to specifically develop games for the female market.[citation needed]

While some[who?] think of McKenzie & Co. as an Otome game, a popular category in Japanese markets, it was called a "social adventure" by its creators and classified as such in the majority of US retail outlets.[citation needed]

While American Laser Games, the company that founded Her Interactive, claimed feminist motivations, aspiring to help lead girls down the path of computers and technology, the game was not uniformly well-received. Some expressed concerns that it pushed a stereotype of what teenage girls are like,[2] with its emphasis on makeup, shopping, and dating.[4] The Chicago Tribune called the game's objective, getting a prom date, "rather dubious".[5] Salon characterized the game as "much-reviled" in 1999.[6]

Characters

Kim
A playable character. Gymnast/Cheerleader.
Carly
The other playable character. Actress.
Elizabeth
A friend.
Sam
A friend.
McKee
A friend.
Trish
A friend.
Brett
Potential prom date, cowboy type.
Steven
A potential prom date. Rich and upper-class.
Brandon
Another potential prom date. Drives a Porsche and has an obsession with marshmallows.
Derrick
Potential prom date, athletic.
James
In the expansion only, a potential prom date and rebellious biker.
Aaron
In the expansion only, a potential prom date who is an animal rights activist and vegetarian.

See also

References

  1. Cifaldi, Frank (July 8, 2010). "This Week on Shame Night: Let's date cute boys with McKenzie & Co.". 1up.com. UGO Entertainment. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "McKenzie & Co. from Her Interactive". SuperKids Educational Software Review. Knowledge Share. 1997. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ray, Sheri Graner (2008). "Chapter 15: Understanding the Game Industry". In Fullerton, Tracy; Swain, Christopher; Hoffman, Steven. Alternatives: Games for Girls and Women. Game Design Workshop: a playcentric approach to creating innovative games (Second ed.). Morgan Kaufmann. pp. 418–419. ISBN 9780240809748. 
  4. Al Mubireek, Khalid (2003). "Methodology". Gender-Oriented vs. Gender-Neutral Computer Games in Education (PDF) (Ph.D. thesis). Ohio State University. 
  5. Vogt, Amanda (August 24, 1997). "Even in virtual reality, it is still a man's world". Chicago Tribune. 
  6. Mifflin, Margot (December 13, 1999). "Singing the pink blues". San Francisco: Salon Media Group. 

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