Strong Fellowships Promote Play Scholarship

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Three 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.

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…

Mother 2: A Parody, a Satire, a Cult Video Game Classic

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In 1994, Nintendo released the second installment of the Mother trilogy, Mother 2: Gyiyg no Gyakushuu (Gyiyg Strikes Back) for the Super Famicom. The game first appeared in the Japanese market and players enjoyed designer Shigesato Itoi’s use of satire to depict Western culture. Mother 2 also became one of the most popular games of the…

Realm Reborn: A Not-So-Final Fantasy

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On September 22, 2010, game developer and publisher Square Enix released Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV), the latest addition to one of the top-grossing video game franchises ever created. This marked the second game in the series to be part of the massively-multiplayer online (MMO) genre. Almost immediately, negative responses from gamers and critics poured into…

Hercules: The Pinball Legend

In 1976, game designer Ron Halliburton of Arcade Engineering created a jumbo-sized pinball machine concept for the Bally Manufacturing Corporation. Bally created two prototypes for the electro-mechanical game they called Bigfoot and determined not to move it to production. Allan Reizman, Engineering Lab Supervisor at Bally, reported that the intense vibrations and stress the oversized…

Brenda Romero: “The Mechanic is the Message”

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The current “serious gaming” trend in both electronic and traditional play uses games to increase awareness of significant cultural, historical, and current events. Game designers Brenda Brathwaite Romero and John Romero recently visited The Strong and provided a compelling demonstration of this trend to staff.

Electronic Baseball and the Nostalgia of Video Game Sounds

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Video game music is catchy and memorable. Iconic tunes such as the Super Mario Bros. theme, composed by Koji Kondo, and Tetris’ fast-paced background music, based on the Russian folk song “Korobeiniki,” sound familiar to many gamers and non-games, alike. Hauntingly beautiful songs such as “Scars of Time” by Yasunori Mitsuda, the title theme from…

From Paper to Pixels: Magic: The Gathering Video Game

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Earlier this month, The Strong opened its newest permanent exhibit, Game Time!, which traces the history of non-electronic games. The exhibit includes an artifact-rich timeline of games from the 1800s to the present, and also presents collections of some of the most popular game genres, such as race, strategy, party, and wealth accumulation. As excited…

ICHEG Collects More Than Video Games

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When someone mentions the “video game industry,” what’s the first image that comes to mind? I’m betting it’s your favorite game, or perhaps a console or handheld device. But the industry is made up of far more than just the games and hardware. Developers and publishers use clothing, action figures, stuffed animals, toys, key chains,…

Video Games in a Museum?

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Most everyone is some sort of a gamer, whether that means you play Call of Duty to strategically advance and complete missions or you simply log onto your iPhone for a quick game of Words with Friends. Electronic games are everywhere. The Strong has the advantage of interpreting electronic game history in the context of…