In this day and age, young adults and adults both can say that they “grew up playing video games”, or that video games were a major part of their childhood upbringing. As technology has progressed, become much more accessible and affordable, and video games are on a much wider range of technology platforms, video games are now passed on from parents to the next generation of gamers! For many of us, we can actually say, “thanks for the games mom!” Fortune magazine writes about the powerful draw of video games specifically on Gen Z (mid-to-late 90’s and on), saying that nearly 87% of Gen Z individuals are highly drawn to video games – that’s powerful.
For many, the exciting world of gaming is usually introduced to them via a parent, sibling, or a childhood friend. For me, video games were introduced to me by my brother, and my mom and I have loved them ever since. I can recall nights as a family enjoying the fun Wii experiences together. Well, battling for a tennis shot against Mario and mom! For me and most all of my friends, video games are a multi-generational experience from playing with my parents and brother to friends. Now, as a GenZ gamer, I get the joy of passing along gaming to my little nieces and nephews. They are instant rock stars at Minecraft and new mobile games that introduce them to coding and popular generational characters I have grown up with like Nancy Drew!
At this special time of Mother’s Day, I think a lot about how many of the games I enjoy were inspired by book characters passed down over the years. For instance, since the 1930’s, adaptations of Nancy Drew within TV series, films, and video games have brought generations of fans together! My mother introduced me to Nancy Drew books at a very young age. As a bookworm and a mystery-novel fanatic both, Nancy and her icon were the perfect combination and archetype for me to delve into.
For others, we see a generation of players enjoying the Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 games whose moms, dads, and grandparents were likely first-generation comic book fans.
Since Nancy Drew just celebrated her 91st birthday, her legend is surpassing the third-generation mark, where many young women currently can say that they are a third-gen Nancy Drew fan! Nancy Drew represents so many great values including family-driven passion and an innate sense of justice. Knowing that one of Nancy’s biggest motivations is to honor and exalt the legacy of her mother is a heartwarming thought that all of the Nancy Drew community can carry with us this Mother’s Day.
For any women who have gone through the painful experience of losing a mother, meaningful heirlooms and timepieces are a symbol of their mother’s spirit being with them. For Nancy Drew, her mother Kate did not leave any significant jewelry pieces, clothing items, or sentimental, tangible items. However, Kate Drew’s experience as a spy and a determined and headstrong woman was a gift and a force that she passed down to her daughter, and I believe it can be seen as a figurative and sentimental heirloom.
This wonderfully written piece by Fandom collects all of the known and written information about Kate Drew within the games and books. In one particular game, Tomb of the Lost Queen, Nancy confides in her close friend Bess that her fiery determination to solve mysteries and uncover the truth comes from the permanent impression that her mother left on her. A parent’s role is inexplicably powerful, even if the parent is no longer present. The fictional character of Nancy Drew is a wonderful example of this. Although Kate Drew passed away when Nancy was young (3 years old in some books and 10 years old in other books and games), her mother’s impression gave Nancy a motivation that could not be stopped, no matter what the cost or risk.
In the Nancy Drew games, one of the personal subjects that we see within the teen sleuth’s life is the absence of her mother, Kate Drew. Readers learn in the very first Nancy Drew book, The Secret of the Old Clock, that Nancy’s mother has passed. Later, in the Nancy Drew game, The Silent Spy, we gain some insight into Kate Drew, learning that she was an extremely loving mother who instilled a sense of curiosity in Nancy early on by teaching Nancy how to play the piano, as well as challenging Nancy with countless puzzles and riddles. The apple does not fall far from the tree! Mothers leave such a significant imprint and impact on the lives of their children, and with Nancy Drew, her mother planted the inspiration for Nancy’s persistence and determination. Ultimately, the legacy of Nancy Drew and her iconic character archetype can be contributed to the influence of her mother Kate.
Photo below: Nancy Drew: The Silent Spy
The importance of Kate Drew’s image within the Nancy Drew franchise is a consistent thread that runs through each platform that Nancy is depicted on. In the recent CW Series, Kate Drew had recently lost her life to health issues, and the grieving process of both Nancy and Carson Drew was shown throughout the series, with flashbacks and memories of Kate driving Nancy to always find the truth she sought.
What Nancy Drew generation legacy and words of wisdom would you pass on for future generations?
Did your mother introduce you to Nancy Drew? Or, did a loved one or guardian, special friend, or mentor introduce you to the world of Nancy? Comment and let us know below!
Given the past year and several months, I can say that even knowing what day or month it is can be a challenge, as everything has blurred together. The fact that it is Mother’s Day and we are in May 2021 is shocking!
This past year has been challenging for us all (to say the least), and I know that I personally would not have been able to navigate the trials of the pandemic without the guidance and the comfort of my own mother.
For me, it is a great time to consider the unexpected moments I have had working from home during Covid and having had more time together with my mother and the rest of my family. We brought back a new level of family game nights. Our video game generation time includes revisiting past games played and taking on new challenges by playing on new platforms such as Nintendo Switch to shake every tree to see what surprises unfold on Mystery Island Tours in Animal Crossing New Horizons! While we have taken time out for fun, it still has been difficult facing the changes within the quarantine. I am especially thankful for the support my mother has given me during this time.
For many who may not have a motherly figure in their life, Mother’s Day can be a time to reflect on the generations who have had an impact on your life and to celebrate them by passing their good influence along to the generations you can now positively impact!
So let’s celebrate Moms and the special people in your life this Mother’s Day!
Give the gift of play to someone special as a celebration of the Nancy Drew generation of fans and players.