In our new book from the World Video Game Hall of Fame, A History of Video Games in 64 Objects, we faced a challenge. Which objects should we include? The Strong museum, home of the World Video Game Hall of Fame, has hundreds of thousands of objects related to video games in its collections, and so we needed to include just the right mix of artifacts that were important, helped tell the broader history of video games, and would engage readers.
How do you tell the history of video games?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.