The International Center for the History of Electronic Games® (ICHEG) at The Strong collects, studies, and interprets video games, other electronic games, and related materials and the ways in which electronic games are changing how people play, learn, and connect with each other, including across boundaries of culture and geography.
In particular, beyond collecting and preserving such materials, ICHEG develops exhibits, produces a blog, and encourages research and writing about the historical and cultural significance of video games and other electronic games:
- ICHEG’s eGameRevolution®—open at The Strong’s National Museum of Play—is an expansive, interactive, artifact-rich exhibit that explores the history of electronic games and their impact on people’s lives.
- In the weekly CHEGheads Blog, three experts from the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and special guest bloggers spotlight key and unusual artifacts from the vast ICHEG collections and offer insightful commentary about the past, present, and future of electronic games.
- ICHEG's website hosts an interactive timeline charting key moments in video game history from 1940 to today.
- ICHEG supports the publication of articles and book reviews about electronic games in the American Journal of Play, an interdisciplinary scholarly quarterly of The Strong.
Through all of these activities and more, ICHEG seeks to ensure that present and future generations can explore the history of electronic games, understand how they began and evolved, appreciate who played what roles in that evolution, and grasp the impact that electronic games have on society.
The Strong is a highly interactive, collections-based educational institution devoted to the study and exploration of play. Through the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and its other Play Partners—the National Museum of Play, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, and the American Journal of Play—The Strong explores play and the ways in which it encourages learning, creativity, and discovery and illuminates cultural history.
The ICHEG collections
ICHEG defines electronic games broadly to include video games, computer games, console games, arcade games, handheld games, and toys that combine digital and traditional play. At more than 40,000 items and growing, the ICHEG collections constitute arguably the most comprehensive public assemblage of electronic games and game-related historical materials in the United States and among the largest in the world. In addition to games and the platforms on which they are played, the collections include game packaging and advertising, game-related publications, game-inspired consumer products and other items that illustrate the impact of electronic games on people’s lives, and personal and business papers of key figures in the electronic games industry. The ICHEG collections are also the only ones anywhere that are housed alongside and linked directly with a world-class collection of hundreds of thousands of board and role-playing games, toys, and other artifacts of play, countless numbers of which have inspired and informed the creation and development of electronic games. ICHEG is additionally supported by the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, a research library of more than 140,000 volumes, including vintage comics and children’s books and the largest collection of toy catalogs in the United States.