Electronic Games

Pinball Matters

PinballPlayfieldsEX-SternClusterAs I stood outside The Strong’s new permanent Pinball Playfields exhibit, I couldn’t help but see and overhear our guests’ reactions to the flashing lights and distinct pops and thumps of the pinball machines.

Atari Packaging Design Collection Documents the Art of Selling Video Games

Artist Cliff Spohn’s original package cover artwork for Atari’s Surround (1977), Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, NY.The Strong has acquired a collection of more than 2,000 drawings, photographs, mock-ups, proofs, and other materials related to the design and production of Atari home and handheld game packag

I Want YOU (to Test Your Grip): Uncle Sam as Arcade Icon

Stern Pinball’s recent announcement of a new line of KISS pinball machines “honoring one of the most influential and iconic rock bands of all time,” reminded me how frequently today’s coin-operated amusement games center on licensed brands, revered characters, and cultural icons.

Remembering Ralph

I lost a friend this past weekend.Ralph Baer I first got to know Ralph Baer a little over seven years ago when he reached out to us at The Strong to see if we might be interested in preserving materials documenting his lifework.

A Second Revolution in Game Distribution

Biologists who study the fossil record note that dramatic blooms in the number and diversity of species interrupt long periods of stasis or gradual change in animal forms. Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould termed this phenomenon “punctuated equilibrium” and wrote a book, Wonderful Life, about the sudden efflorescence of fossils during the Cambrian period about 550 million years ago.

Screen-Play: Video Game Mania on Television

“Finish him!” “Save the princess!” “Time is running out!” Video game designers excel at creating high-stakes environments. And television has earned some laughs depicting the obsessive players who heed these calls to action. Here are some of the memorable ways television shows have turned video games into life-or-death situations.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Pinball: Two Pieces of American Culture

L. Frank Baum's classic novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, captivated generations of audiences with its iconic characters, adventurous storyline, and captivating setting. Published in 1900, the novel inspired countless adaptations in a variety of mediums including stage plays, films, novels, and video games. The Wizard of Oz film, released in 1939 by MGM, remains a legendary title and cultural icon. This summer, visitors to The Strong’s Pinball Playfields exhibit have the opportunity to play The Wizard of Oz pinball.

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