ICHEG Acquires Atari Arcade Design Collection

International Center for the History of Electronic Games News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700 museumofplay.org

October 16, 2012

For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Trien, 585-410-6359, strien@thestrong.org
Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365, srhinewald@thestrong.org

The International Center for the History of Electronic Games® Acquires the Atari Arcade Design Collection

More than 250 Rare Atari Drawings

Document Creation of Iconic Video Arcade Games


ROCHESTER, New York—The International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) at The Strong® is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Atari Arcade Design Collection—more than 250 original conceptual drawings and industrial designs for Atari arcade games produced between 1974 and 1989. The collection provides a rare visual documentation of the thinking behind the design of Atari’s coin-operated games at a time when the arcade was the hub of the video game industry and Atari was the leading producer of arcade games.

The large (11” x 17”; 14” x 17”; and 19” x 24”) original drawings and schematic designs (some with notes on them) provide an in-depth look into how Atari produced such games as Gauntlet, Pin Pong, the barrel and cocktail variations of Pong, the 4-player version of Football, Red Baron, Gran Trak 10 (the first racing arcade game), Touch Me (the game that inspired Ralph Baer’s creation of Simon), the cabinet for Capcom’s Street Fighter, S.T.U.N. Runner, Dodgem, Peter Pack Rat, Gremlins (never released), and Qwak!. The Atari artists who created the concept drawings include Regan Cheng, Barney Huang, Pete Takaichi, and Ken Hata.

According to ICHEG Director Jon-Paul Dyson, “These drawings offer a rare look into how designers created Atari’s iconic arcade cabinets. Researchers will find new information about the development of these games, and the vivid visuals of these designs give them great potential for public exhibit displays.” (Dyson has posted a blog about the Atari Arcade Design Collection on the ICHEG web site.)

Situated at The Strong, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games collects, studies, and interprets video games and other electronic games and related materials and the ways in which electronic games are changing how people play, learn, and connect with each other. At 37,000 items and growing, ICHEG holds the largest and most comprehensive public collection of its kind in the United States and one of the largest in the world. ICHEG’s collection includes video games, systems, and related materials that illustrate how the games have been conceived, developed, sold, and used. These materials include packaging, advertising, publications, electronic game inspired consumer products, literary and popular inspirations of electronic game imagery, personal and business papers, and other associated artifacts and documents that represent or illustrate the impact of electronic games on people’s lives.

Learn more about ICHEG at www.icheg.org.