I am Kayla Black, Lead for the Digital Humanities Content team, and I am working on the dialogue for Minnie Becker and the mini-game that involves having a conversation with her. I have been spending time in the archives on the microfilm machine looking at the scrapbooks that Minnie put together during her time at Stout.
Minnie Becker was a president’s secretary for forty years at the Stout Institute and served for four Presidents. Minnie is one of the historical characters in Harvey. She was chosen as a character for the game because she was at Stout for such a long period of time and also was very involved and knowledgeable about things happening on and around campus. She created scrapbooks from collected newspaper clippings that had anything to do with Stout, Menomonie, or even Wisconsin. The newspaper clippings mostly came from local papers like Eau Claire and Twin Cities papers.
These scrapbooks were captured on three reels of microfilm:
We want to create a mini-game that involves gossiping with Minnie. The player will find her in the President’s office, where she spent a lot of her time as secretary. I have found these scrapbooks to be a great resource to create conversation that Minnie would have had with students. She cut out and pasted all of these articles, so surely she would have talked about the stories she was collecting. Parts of the scrapbooks will also be built into the game so that player can flip through some of the pages. This mini-game is a place where we can tell stories from the past, without having to reenact them in the game. For example, when JFK came to speak at Stout Institute, Minnie was there and will be able to tell some details about when he came and spoke in Harvey Hall.
It will also be a place where we can tell stories from around campus, not just in Harvey Hall. I found an article about a Fraternity house that caught on fire back in 1958. It gives the address of the house, which was on 6th Street, where Frat houses remained until they were torn down just this past summer in 2014.
There are too many clippings to add all of them to the game, but I am working on picking the most interesting stories that will represent Stout and Harvey Hall as it should. We’re very excited to write dialogue for Minnie and build this interactive character.