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…

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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…

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Strong Fellowships Promote Play Scholarship

Strong Fellowships Promote Play Scholarship

Three times a year The Strong accepts research fellowship applications from academic scholars, independent researchers, and students at the Masters or PhD level interested in conducting research at The Strong.

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Five ICHEG Acquisitions of 2013

Five ICHEG Acquisitions of 2013

As Acquisitions Cataloger, I get to see every object ICHEG acquires. The CHEGheads have already written about some of our most influential new items of 2013, such as our collection of nearly 7,000 Japanese video games; a Fix-It Felix, Jr. arcade machine commissioned directly from Disney to promote their animated feature film Wreck-It Ralph; and…

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Mother 2: A Parody, a Satire, a Cult Video Game Classic

Mother 2: A Parody, a Satire, a Cult Video Game Classic

In 1994, Nintendo released the second installment of the Mother trilogy, Mother 2: Gyiyg no Gyakushuu (Gyiyg Strikes Back) for the Super Famicom. The game first appeared in the Japanese market and players enjoyed designer Shigesato Itoi’s use of satire to depict Western culture. Mother 2 also became one of the most popular games of the…

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Realm Reborn: A Not-So-Final Fantasy

Realm Reborn: A Not-So-Final Fantasy

On September 22, 2010, game developer and publisher Square Enix released Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV), the latest addition to one of the top-grossing video game franchises ever created. This marked the second game in the series to be part of the massively-multiplayer online (MMO) genre. Almost immediately, negative responses from gamers and critics poured into…

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Hercules: The Pinball Legend

In 1976, game designer Ron Halliburton of Arcade Engineering created a jumbo-sized pinball machine concept for the Bally Manufacturing Corporation. Bally created two prototypes for the electro-mechanical game they called Bigfoot and determined not to move it to production. Allan Reizman, Engineering Lab Supervisor at Bally, reported that the intense vibrations and stress the oversized…

Brenda Romero: “The Mechanic is the Message”

Brenda Romero: “The Mechanic is the Message”

The current “serious gaming” trend in both electronic and traditional play uses games to increase awareness of significant cultural, historical, and current events. Game designers Brenda Brathwaite Romero and John Romero recently visited The Strong and provided a compelling demonstration of this trend to staff.

Electronic Baseball and the Nostalgia of Video Game Sounds

Electronic Baseball and the Nostalgia of Video Game Sounds

Video game music is catchy and memorable. Iconic tunes such as the Super Mario Bros. theme, composed by Koji Kondo, and Tetris’ fast-paced background music, based on the Russian folk song “Korobeiniki,” sound familiar to many gamers and non-games, alike. Hauntingly beautiful songs such as “Scars of Time” by Yasunori Mitsuda, the title theme from…

From Paper to Pixels: Magic: The Gathering Video Game

From Paper to Pixels: Magic: The Gathering Video Game

Earlier this month, The Strong opened its newest permanent exhibit, Game Time!, which traces the history of non-electronic games. The exhibit includes an artifact-rich timeline of games from the 1800s to the present, and also presents collections of some of the most popular game genres, such as race, strategy, party, and wealth accumulation. As excited…