The 'American Girls' PC Game's Text-To-Speech Feature Was Great for Dick Jokes

This is not what the developers had in mind.

Apr 21 2017, 2:48pm

In the history of text-to-speech programs, has one ever been spared from becoming a dick-joke simulator?

Such is the case in American Girls Premiere, the 1997 PC game by The Learning Company, as Lazy Game Reviews demonstrates.

The game allowed players to put on a theatrical performance, from stage lighting and set design to playwriting. Kids were meant to learn the intricacies of the theatrical arts and maybe some history along the way. Writing dialogue is a big component of the game, using text-to-speech to put words in the mouths of your freaky blue screen cutout actors. Their voices, and your eloquent words, are customizable in pitch and tempo.

The developers intended kids—especially girls, as it was one of the early PC games to be targeted specifically to girls—to imagine demure scenes where the American Girls might show up for embroidery class, or meet at the soda fountain. Most children, it's easy to imagine, went straight for the fart noises.