Carmen Sandiego will be stealing her way into our hearts and classrooms once again on Jan. 18 when the new Netflix series debuts. And it won’t be the first time the master thief has charmed us with her wicked ways and educational exploits.
Here’s a look at her history and some of the many artifacts in the HMH archives from her past lives.
Carmen Sandiego came into the world in 1985 as a computer game. Two factors led to her creation: Personal computers were new and companies wanted to establish them as necessary purchases for home use, and at the same time, reports were surfacing that U.S. students were falling behind their foreign counterparts in terms of basic geographic knowledge.
“Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” was able to combine innovative game design with facts about the world in a fun and informative way. The computer game quickly made its way into classrooms and spawned board games, jigsaw puzzles, comic books, and of course, the PBS television show that's fondly remembered by many.