MECC, The Company that Launched Educational Gaming

MECC, The Company that Launched Educational Gaming

ichegIt 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. The Strong is proud to acquire and preserve the Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation Collection, 1968–2011. 

An Ancient Game in a Digital Age

An Ancient Game in a Digital Age

Recently for The Strong’s American Journal of Play, I reviewed Garry Fine’s new book on the sociology of chess, and I particularly enjoyed his discussion on the role of computers in chess.

Why ICHEG Collects Game Company Newsletters and Magazines

Why ICHEG Collects Game Company Newsletters and Magazines

Several years ago as a graduate student, while working on my dissertation, I visited an archive to conduct research on the records of an advertising agency.  As I searched through page after page of the collection’s finding aid, I couldn’t escape a sinking feeling that the archival gems I needed—internal agency memoranda, correspondence, and meeting…

Installing Ralph Baer’s Desk at The Strong

Installing Ralph Baer's Desk at The Strong

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. The Strong’s focus on the history and meaning of play has guided its efforts to preserve a comprehensive collection of artifacts that document…

The 2016 Class for the World Video Game Hall of Fame

The 2016 Class for the World Video Game Hall of Fame

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.

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.

The Global Scope of the World Video Game Hall of Fame

The Global Scope of the World Video Game Hall of Fame

Genius knows no boundaries. That’s the inescapable conclusion I reach when I look at the 2016 finalists for The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame. The nominated games are equally distributed across three continents (Asia, Europe, and North America) and reflect how the video game industry has developed around the world and how the…

Living Books Donation Documents the Heyday of CD-ROM

Living Books Donation Documents the Heyday of CD-ROM

In the early 1990s, CD-ROMs promised consumers a dramatic leap forward in the capabilities of computers to provide immersive experiences. For example, the puzzle adventure game Myst used the new technology to plunge players into a mysterious, hypnotic world of exploration that provided enchanting graphics and mesmerizing music; Roberta Williams used the discs’ larger storage…

Pinball Matters

Pinball Matters

As 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. “Pinball! Yes!” I heard someone cheer. Another guest who noticed I worked at the museum stopped to tell me, “You’ve made…

New Display Highlights the Worldwide Reach of Tetris

New Display Highlights the Worldwide Reach of Tetris

The Strong launched the World Video Game Hall of Fame in 2015 to recognize individual electronic games of all types—arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile—that achieved iconic-status, longevity, influence, and geographical reach. Of the six games chosen for the inaugural class of 2015, perhaps no game has journeyed the globe more than the simple puzzle game…