Playing the “Good War”

Playing the "Good War"

The recent decision by the producers of Call of Duty:WWII to return the game’s setting to World War II—after a detour into modern warfare and futuristic science fiction—reflects not only the franchise’s success with this period but also the fact that no other war has so captured the imagination of playmakers and players.

Chris Kohler Fanzine Collection Documents Video Game Culture

Chris Kohler Fanzine Collection Documents Video Game Culture

In addition to collecting video and other electronic games and materials that document how these games are made and sold, the staff at The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) is also interested in preserving evidence of player culture. Author Chris Kohler recently donated a wonderful collection of more than 350 fanzine…

A Genealogy of Fantasy Play (with a Special Nod to Iceland)

A Genealogy of Fantasy Play (with a Special Nod to Iceland)

Today, fantasy role-playing video games—in which players assume the role of heroes wielding swords, casting spells, riding dragons, and battling monsters—are among the most popular and influential of games. Yet if we consider the examples found in The Strong’s trove of 19th-century board games, we see that games with such themes are quite rare. Other…

Preserving Video Game History with the Brian Fargo Papers, 1983-2012

Preserving Video Game History with the Brian Fargo Papers, 1983-2012

The Strong launched the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) in 2009 because we believed video games were too popular, too creative, and too influential for their history to be lost. Since then, many key industry leaders have aided our preservation efforts by donating to The Strong personal materials that document their…

MECC, The Company that Launched Educational Gaming

MECC, The Company that Launched Educational Gaming

It is impossible to tell the story of educational computing without acknowledging the tremendous importance of Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation (MECC), the first organization to provide widespread access to games and other computer software for educational purposes. The Strong is proud to acquire and preserve the Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation Collection, 1968–2011. 

An Ancient Game in a Digital Age

An Ancient Game in a Digital Age

Recently for The Strong’s American Journal of Play, I reviewed Garry Fine’s new book on the sociology of chess, and I particularly enjoyed his discussion on the role of computers in chess.

Installing Ralph Baer’s Desk at The Strong

Installing Ralph Baer's Desk at The Strong

Museums have long memorialized genius. While art museums preserve great paintings and sculptures, history museums collect and preserve a wide-ranging record of the ways individuals, groups, and companies have shaped our society. The Strong’s focus on the history and meaning of play has guided its efforts to preserve a comprehensive collection of artifacts that document…

The 2016 Class for the World Video Game Hall of Fame

The 2016 Class for the World Video Game Hall of Fame

Anyone interested in the evolution of video games can learn a great deal by simply examining the history of the six newest inductees into The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame: The Oregon Trail, Space Invaders, The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Sims, and Grand Theft Auto III.

The Global Scope of the World Video Game Hall of Fame

The Global Scope of the World Video Game Hall of Fame

Genius knows no boundaries. That’s the inescapable conclusion I reach when I look at the 2016 finalists for The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame. The nominated games are equally distributed across three continents (Asia, Europe, and North America) and reflect how the video game industry has developed around the world and how the…

Living Books Donation Documents the Heyday of CD-ROM

Living Books Donation Documents the Heyday of CD-ROM

In the early 1990s, CD-ROMs promised consumers a dramatic leap forward in the capabilities of computers to provide immersive experiences. For example, the puzzle adventure game Myst used the new technology to plunge players into a mysterious, hypnotic world of exploration that provided enchanting graphics and mesmerizing music; Roberta Williams used the discs’ larger storage…