+
More

At 29, She Was A Trailblazer. At 40, She Was Gone. Here’s Why You Should Know Her Name.

Theresa Duncan. It's a name you probably don't know. But as the gaming world continues to wrestle with the importance of women creating, playing, and appearing in video games, there was a woman who started working all this out a long, long time ago.

Back in the mid-1990s, computers were young and dumb.

Video games, too: They were almost all about violence. Successful gamemakers targeted the action straight at the blunt-force minds of so many young teenage boys. If girls liked a game, well, that was just a bonus.

Duncan wondered if they weren't missing something.

Why did video games have to be so dumb? How about some games that were truly creative? How about games with some emotional depth to them?


She decided to create games for kids who don't care about blood and noise. Like young girls. (Full disclosure: Not all boys like to kill either.)

And so Duncan and co-creator Monica Gesue set out to create a video game for 7- to 12-year-old girls.

In 1995, they released it.

Chop Suey

Chop Suey was imaginative, crazy, and fun. It was a hit. Duncan was right: Girls did love it. And it was declared CD-ROM of the Year 1995 by Entertainment Weekly.

Two more games followed.

Smarty (1996)

Zero Zero (1998)

After seeing her games safely into kids' hands, Duncan's attention turned to animation, with unique films like her "The History of Glamor." But even after such a brilliant first act, Duncan's career was cut short when she committed suicide in 2007, at 40.

Time passed.

Duncan's audience grew up. Old games like Chop Suey, Smarty, and Zero Zero can't run with today's hardware and operating systems, so the CD-ROMs have disappeared into drawers, closets, and landfills.

Rescue.

Rhizome, an Internet-based arts organization, is joining with University of Freiburg, Germany, to bring back Chop Suey, Smarty, and Zero Zero, this time online. Anyone will be able to spend some time in their wackadoodle universes. Rhizome recently completed a Kickstarter campaign to raise money, and an exhibition of Duncan's work is planned at the New Museum.

Here's the Rhizome Kickstarter video:

The re-discovery of a pioneer.

Think about it. The 7- to 12-year-old girls who were in Duncan's audience in 1995 are now 26- to 31-year-old women. Millennials. These games are no doubt hiding in the back of many Millennial minds. You gotta wonder what effect they've had. Did you play these games when you were a kid?

Many people have never heard of Theresa Duncan, and it's time this gaming visionary is finally granted her rightful place in history.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less

Kevin Ford with his daughter Seryna.

Kevin Ford, the Las Vegas airport Burger King employee whose story went viral after he displayed the meager goodie bag he received after 27 years of never missing a day of work, might have started off feeling less than hopeful. But after his story reached the masses, his faith in humanity has been restored.

The original video showed the 54-year-old displaying the bag’s mediocre contents: a reusable Starbucks cup, one singular movie ticket, a couple of pens, a lanyard, some keychains and cheap candy (no offense Reese's and Life Savers).


@thekeep777 He's Worked for the Company for Almost 3 Decades and Has Never Called Out!!!😵💫🥺😱😭 #Grateful #Dads #FathersDay #Loyalty #Honor #WorkersUnite #Rewards #Thankful #NorrinRadd777 #theKeep777♬ Slide (feat. Frank Ocean & Migos) - Calvin Harris


Despite receiving a “gift” more equivalent to convention swag than a display of employee loyalty, Ford shared authentic gratitude.

“I’m happy about anything, I’m thankful for anything I get,” Ford told TMZ, “but, like most big corporations, they’ve kind of lost touch with their workers.” Ford added that before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees would receive anniversary checks, sharing that he initially thought that’s what the movie ticket was.

TMZ later reported that after Ford’s video began circulating everywhere, he received a flood of new job opportunities from potential employers near and far—including one position restoring classic cars and another working at a beachside restaurant in South Carolina. However, as he was close to retirement at his current job, Ford passed.

That’s when Seryna, Ford’s daughter, created a GoFundMe campaign.
Keep ReadingShow less

Goodbye. Maureen. Your "favorite child" will miss you.

What makes a good obituary? First, it should probably reflect the essence of the recently deceased person in an authentic, honest light. Second, it should feel personal, showing how that person’s life affected the lives of others. Then, of course, the right dash of humor can certainly help spark joy in an otherwise solemn moment.

New York Times journalist Caity Weaver achieved all those things masterfully in a eulogy written for her mother—the coupon-clipping, chronically late, green-thumbed Dr. Maureen Brennan-Weaver.

Caity clearly put her knack with words to good use, because her hilarious tribute quickly went viral on Twitter, leaving people not only with a good giggle, but a very precise picture of her mom.
Keep ReadingShow less