Carmen Sandiego is a series of American educational mystery video games which spawned an edutainment franchise of the same name. The game released in 1985, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, triggered both the video game series and the franchise as a whole, which has continued up to the present day. Each game of the series has a particular theme and subject, where the player must use their knowledge to find Carmen Sandiego or any of her innumerable henchmen. This series was originally owned by Brøderbund, but is now owned by The Learning Company, whose latest release was Carmen Sandiego Returns in 2015. Since its initial release the series has won over 125 awards and accolades.
So, what is the object of the game? The original version was released in 1985. The goal of this game is to track Carmen’s villains around the world and arrest them and later ultimately arrest Carmen herself. In order to make an arrest the user had to have a warrant for the correct villain. The player began the game by visiting the city and country where the crime took place, and then obtaining hints from the bystanders on where the thief went next, leading them on a chase around the world to find the thief before they “get away.” In the process, the player collected clues about the villain’s identity to determine who the culprit is. When the player reached their final destination, the player presented the accurate warrant to arrest the villain.
So, I never did find Carmen, nor did I ever look for her. And I was never arrested, like Carmen. Our trips to San Diego have all been fun. It generally centers on my San Francisco Giants playing the local San Diego Padres, and enjoying the great seafood here.
But San Diego is the “All-American” city by many measures. My big issue is with the large homeless population here. The weather does attract people who are tired of cold weather. And it looks like both the Harbor patrol and local police leave them alone. The hepatitus outbreak a few years ago did exacerbate the issue to the front page, at least for a while.