Preserving Carol Shaw’s Trailblazing Video Game Career

Preserving Carol Shaw’s Trailblazing Video Game Career

Carol Shaw, the first widely recognized female game designer and programmer, has donated to The Strong a collection of console games, printed source code, design documents, sketches, reference materials, and promotional objects representing games she created for Atari, Inc. and Activision in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Shaw is most recognized for her best-selling…

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The Strong Launches Women in Games Initiative

The Strong Launches Women in Games Initiative

For many decades, women have played key roles in the design, production, manufacture, marketing, and writing of video games, and yet their history in the gaming industry is too little preserved and too often underappreciated. The Strong’s Women in Games initiative will document and celebrate these crucial contributions through a concerted effort to collect, preserve,…

Light Up the Night with Mega Man Rock

Light Up the Night with Mega Man Rock

I have a confession to make. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I’m hoping readers will understand. I’m 34 years old, and just recently, I attended my first rock concert. Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering my profession, this concert consisted of a hard rock opera based on the 1980s video game series Mega Man.

ICHEG, the RPO, and Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

ICHEG, the RPO, and Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

As a child, I always enjoyed playing video games, but I never paid too much attention to the musical accompaniment in the background. It wasn’t until college that I first heard gaming music on its own. Prior to that, I simply enjoyed the music as background noise for games, or as musical cues that prompted…

Beam Him Up, Scotty: Remembering Leonard Nimoy

Beam Him Up, Scotty: Remembering Leonard Nimoy

“Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human.”                 ~ Admiral James T. Kirk

From Pixel to Paper: The Centipede Board Game

From Pixel to Paper: The Centipede Board Game

In 1981, Atari released Centipede—a shoot ‘em up arcade game comprised of pixilated creepy-crawlies—created by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey, one of the first female game designers. To play the game, a player used a trackball controller and a single firing button to shoot at a large centipede as it wound its way down the…

The Virtual World of LEGOs

The Virtual World of LEGOs

When Danish carpenter Ole Christiansen sensed a demand for inexpensive, quality playthings in the 1930s, he crafted wooden blocks and other toys and soon founded LEGO. In 1949, the company produced a set of red and white interlocking plastic bricks entitled “Automatic Building Blocks.” For decades, LEGO sets have provided children and adults with hours…

Hunting for Easter Eggs

Hunting for Easter Eggs

I recently read Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One. The story captivated me and likely appeals to other gaming fans, especially those who—like me—happen to love 1980s pop-culture. Although the book takes place in the future, the plot encouraged me to think more about games from the past. In Ready Player One, America becomes a…

Difficulty in Video Gaming

Difficulty in Video Gaming

Some video games make us want to throw our controllers against the wall and swear never to play again. But somehow we always seem to find ourselves plopped back on the couch, controller clutched tightly in our hands, determined that this time will be different. Frustration and challenge are part of the appeal of a…

Evolution of the Rubik’s Cube

Evolution of the Rubik’s Cube

“For me, the Cube is a piece of art. It is more than an object with the shapes of a cube made of plastic, more than many colored stickers, more than a puzzle, and it is much more than a gimmick. Like other pieces of art, the Cube is more than itself. Though it may…