Four Horsemen: 3DO’s Apocalypse That Never Was


“And so, the Four Horsemen were unleashed as foretold, and their names are Famine, Pestilence, War and Death. I am the line that separates life from death, war from peace and good from evil. I am known as Abaddon. And though I walk through the shadow of death I shall fear no evil…because evil fears…

Gaming in 2012


Happy New Year fellow gamers! As we ring in the New Year, I wanted to take a moment to appreciate all the innovations the industry underwent throughout the last 12 months. At the beginning of the year, Sony released the handheld PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) to North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Russia.  Several…

Video Games for Cats


Recently, I discovered a game, created by a two-man development team at Hiccup, that made me realize that to be a gamer, one need not be human. In December 2010, Game for Cats debuted on the Apple iPad. Initially a free download, the game purported to provide a world of entertainment for our feline friends….

Costume Quest: Nostalgic Halloween Gaming


It’s almost Halloween. My neighborhood is filled with decorative plastic ghosts, goblins, and skeletons. Advertisements for scary movie marathons inundate television channels, and bookstores carry special displays of Dracula and Frankenstein. As a gamer, this is the best time to play chilling classics like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, or Left 4 Dead. But not all…

Games on a Plane


When I hear the word “vacation” I feel happy and relaxed, but the word “travel” often evokes just the opposite. Earlier this month, I took a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. In order to keep myself occupied during travel, I packed a carry-on bag full of fun diversions, including music, books, and video games. Despite…

Steel Battalion and the Evolution of Video Game Controllers


Video games constantly evolve. Early on, graphics involved simple dots and now, they provide highly realistic, movie-quality images. Music originally consisted of bleeps and buzzes, while soundtracks now contain fully-orchestrated symphonies. My favorite evolution involves modifications to video game controllers, which began with simple joysticks, then morphed into complex control pads, and currently require nothing…

Cataloging ICHEG’s Collections


Museum guests and donors often inquire about what exactly happens to materials that ICHEG acquires for its collections. As ICHEG’s Acquisitions Cataloger, I handle and research electronic game-related artifacts, and I’m always pleased to answer that question. Before an artifact becomes an official part of The Strong’s collections, it must be researched thoroughly and entered…

Video Game Fathers


Father’s Day, being right around the corner, reminded me of some of the most and least paternal characters presented in video games. Whether they’re role models, deadbeats, or something in between, I enjoy interacting with all of the characters that came to mind. My personal favorite video game father is Ethan Mars from the 2010…

Death Race and Video Game Violence


Recently, ICHEG added the controversial arcade game Death Race to its collections. Released by Exidy in 1976, Death Race became the first arcade game to spur a national controversy over violence in video games.  A player of the game navigated a white car across the black screen as white stick figures, which developers called “gremlins,”…

The Magic Circle: Cheating in Video Games


Players disagree about what constitutes cheating. In her book, Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames, Mia Consalvo defines cheating as an action that “breaks the magic circle,” meaning players leave the imaginary world to reach outside for answers. This “magic circle” concept originated in Dutch historian Johan Huizinga’s book Homo Ludens, in which he explains how…