Strong Fellowships Promote Play Scholarship

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Beaton, Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, NYThree times a year The Strong accepts research fellowship applications from academic scholars, independent researchers, and students at the Masters or PhD level interested in conducting research at The Strong.

Preserving the Brøderbund Story

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Brøderbund founder Doug Carlston has given ICHEG nearly 1,500 copies of Brøderbund’s software (in pristine condition), representing virtually every product the company released, and an extensive archive of business records that document the growth of both the company and the personal computer software industry.

Honoring Gaming Innovator Eugene Jarvis

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Recently I had the pleasure of attending the 17th Annual D.I.C.E Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Each year, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences celebrates the best interactive games and with its Pioneer Award honors a person whose “career-spanning work has helped shape and define the interactive entertainment…

Video Game Designers Partner with Writer Neil Gaiman

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Novelists have collaborated with video game designers to create interactive fiction for decades. In 1984, author Douglas Adams and computer game developer Steve Meretzky paired-up to turn the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy series into an interactive fiction video game. Cyberdreams later worked with author Harlan Ellison to turn his short-story, “I Have No Mouth, and…

Five ICHEG Acquisitions of 2013

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As Acquisitions Cataloger, I get to see every object ICHEG acquires. The CHEGheads have already written about some of our most influential new items of 2013, such as our collection of nearly 7,000 Japanese video games; a Fix-It Felix, Jr. arcade machine commissioned directly from Disney to promote their animated feature film Wreck-It Ralph; and…

The Strategic Simulations, Inc. Collection

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When Joel Billings launched Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI) in 1979, he was fresh out of college and committed to the proposition that players would find wargaming fun and easier on a computer. The company’s first product, Computer Bismarck (1980), became the first computer wargame to gain commercial success.

Collection Documents the Career of Video Game Pioneer Jerry Lawson

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Few of us think of the Fairchild Channel F (1976) when playing our new disc-based video game consoles. Fewer of us think of its creator, one of the first African American video game designers, Gerald “Jerry” Lawson (1940-2011). Nevertheless, the seeds for today’s systems were planted during the middle 1970s by Lawson and the team…

No Screen Necessary

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Today, electronic games are being integrated into our lives in ways that often have nothing to do with a video screen. In previous blogs CHEGheads noted that fantasy football might be considered an electronic game and Der Gute Fabrik’s brilliant Johan Sebastian Joust is undoubtedly an electronic game, even if it doesn’t have a video…

Video Games: Making the Music

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Understanding a music compilation requires more than listening to the sounds. NPR music critic and correspondent Ann Powers explained that “music is not a thing, but things are important to music. You can’t really understand 1920s blues without learning to shimmy and slow drag. It’s incredibly enriching to discover the stuff an artist kept around,…

Wizardry, Dragon Quest, and the Japanese Role-Playing Video Game

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Video game historians hoping to trace the intellectual and cultural influences of some games may find themselves crossing oceans to do so. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Japanese video games spread to North America and across the globe, exporting Japanese culture and energizing the slumping home console industry. ICHEG’s recent acquisition of a collection of nearly…