The Strong Launches Women in Games Initiative

The Strong News Release
NEWS RELEASE
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700 museumofplay.org

February 13, 2017

For Immediate Release

Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365, srhinewald@museumofplay.org

Noelle McElrath-Hart, 585-410-6325, nmcelrath@museumofplay.org

The Strong Museum Launches
Women in Games Initiative 

ROCHESTER, New York—The Strong, home of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games® (ICHEG) and World Video Game Hall of Fame®, announces the launch of its Women in Games initiative to document and celebrate the crucial contributions of women to the development of electronic games, past and present. The initiative aims to gather and preserve the most comprehensive collection of such materials anywhere in order to illuminate the role of women in the games industry and share that history of innovation with audiences from all over the world through online and physical exhibits.  

“Women have played major, if often underappreciated, roles in the development of both games and computing, the two streams of cultural and technological development that combined to produce the modern-day video game industry,” says Jon-Paul Dyson, director of ICHEG. “Women have indelibly shaped every aspect of the history of video games, and that story needs to be better documented and told.”

Through the Women in Games initiative, the museum will tell that important story to its on-site and online audiences of more than two million through an interactive, artifact-rich exhibit (slated to open in September 2018) and a companion online exhibit that will be a resource for scholars, students, and enthusiasts. The initiative builds on The Strong’s already extensive holdings of artifacts and archival records (prototypes, games, design documents, marketing materials, correspondence, presentations, photographs, oral histories, and other items) that illustrate the impact of women working in the video game industry. Prominent among these are the Ken and Roberta Williams Sierra-Online Collection, Her Interactive, Inc. Collection, and Atari Coin-Op Division Collection.

ICHEG Associate Curator Shannon Symonds, who will lead the effort, notes, “The Strong’s Women in Games initiative will chronicle the many ways women have shaped the development of games, from design and production, to manufacturing and marketing, to consumption and criticism. We invite anyone with relevant materials or who would like to help us tell this important story to collaborate with us in a number of ways—from donating materials to underwriting programs.”

The Strong is caretaker of the world’s most comprehensive collection of materials related to video games and other forms of play. The museum’s collections already include objects and archival materials that illuminate hundreds of years of women’s board game design, including the two best-selling games of the 19th century and innovative 20th-century titles like The Landlord’s Game (the predecessor to Monopoly) and Candy Land. These materials provide a foundation for The Strong’s unparalleled electronic games holdings that document women’s many contributions to the field, including iconic games such as Centipede, River Raid, and Journey.

To learn more or engage with this initiative by donating historical materials, underwriting program development, or supporting the museum’s production of on-site and online exhibits, contact Shannon Symonds at ssymonds@museumofplay.org.

About The Strong

The Strong is a highly interactive, collections-based museum devoted to the history and exploration of play. It is one of the largest history museums in the United States and one of the leading museums serving families. The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play. Together, these enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive and educational activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe.

About the International Center for the History of Electronic Games
The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) collects, studies, and interprets video games, other electronic games, and related materials and the ways in which electronic games are changing how people play, learn, and connect with each other, including across boundaries of culture and geography. As a result of ICHEG’s efforts, The Strong’s collection of video games, other electronic games, and game-related historical materials is the largest and most comprehensive public assemblage in the United States and one of the largest in the world.