The Lasting Appeal of Chase Games

The Lasting Appeal of Chase Games

Frequently my two-year-old daughter Sidney greets me with two words: “chase, Daddy.” It’s a request that usually leads to lots of laughter and me circling around tables and chairs as I chase her throughout our house. In psychologist Peter Gray’s book Free to Learn, he notes that young mammals of nearly all species play chase…

Inside the Atari Coin-Op Divisions Collection: What’s in an Ad?

Inside the Atari Coin-Op Divisions Collection: What’s in an Ad?

Recently The Strong acquired a colossal collection of materials related to Atari’s coin-operated video game and pinball divisions.

Pinball Lives at The Strong

Pinball Lives at The Strong

Over the past two years, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) has been working to preserve pinball’s past by expanding its collection to more than 50 historic pinball machines—adding early “pin games” (flipperless predecessors to pinball machines) and electromechanical and “solid state” (electronic) pinball machines to the museum’s unparalleled collection of…

ICHEG Preserves Atari Coin-Op Divisions Collection

ICHEG Preserves Atari Coin-Op Divisions Collection

ICHEG has acquired a massive collection of materials chronicling the history of Atari’s pioneering video arcade and pinball machine divisions from 1972 to 1999. The collection represents the largest and most comprehensive assemblage of archival records and other documentary items related to Atari’s coin-operated games anywhere in the world.

Honoring Gaming Innovator Eugene Jarvis

Honoring Gaming Innovator Eugene Jarvis

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…

Collection Documents the Career of Video Game Pioneer Jerry Lawson

Collection Documents the Career of Video Game Pioneer Jerry Lawson

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…

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

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

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…

Video Games and the Wonders of Window Shopping

Video Games and the Wonders of Window Shopping

Childhood trips to a local Kmart always meant two things: my mother searching for “blue light specials” and the chance to slip away to see and play new video games in an environment awash in electronic sights and sounds. What I didn’t realize then was that all those video game packages, aisles of shelves, elaborate…

Wreck-It Ralph and Video Game Villainy

Wreck-It Ralph and Video Game Villainy

The Strong recently acquired a custom-built Fix-It Felix Jr. arcade video game at the center of Disney Animation Studios’ 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph. This summer, visitors to The Strong’s Boardwalk Arcade exhibit have the opportunity to play this rare game. Fix-It Felix Jr. allows players to take on the role of the game’s hero, Felix,…

Gauntlet by Design: Creating the Four-Player-at-Once Arcade Game Experience

Gauntlet by Design: Creating the Four-Player-at-Once Arcade Game Experience

During the 1970s and 1980s, Atari programmers and designers crafted hundreds of new video game play experiences for millions of people. This summer The Strong will open Atari by Design, a temporary exhibit (June 22 – September 8, 2013) that features one-of-a kind concept art and design documents and explores the designs behind some of…