Computer Game Pioneer Scott Adams Donates Collection to The Strong

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

May 1, 2017

For Immediate Release

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

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

Commercial Computer Game Pioneer Scott Adams

Donates Collection to The Strong Museum

 

ROCHESTER, New York—Pioneering computer game designer and publisher Scott Adams, creator of the first text-based adventure game made specifically for a home computer (Adventureland 1978), recently donated an extensive collection of materials to The Strong museum. The assemblage includes some of the earliest commercial computer games, printed source code, promotional materials, photographs, magazines, comic books, and other documentation related to the computer games that Adams created and the company that he co-founded, Adventure International (1979–1985).

“Scott Adams’s Adventureland was one of the first commercially available works of interactive fiction and a true game-changer in the burgeoning personal computer game market,” says Jeremy Saucier, assistant director for the International Center for the History of Electronic Games. “We were astonished to find in this donation some of the earliest packaged computer games—Adventureland and Pirate’s Adventure cassette tapes Adams placed in baby bottle liners and sealed by stapling a bi-fold business card to the top. These simple packages helped transform computer games into products while bringing text-based adventure games, which previously lived on mainframe computers, into the home for the very first time.”

The success of Adventureland allowed Adams and his then-wife Alexis to co-found Adventure International, one of the earliest independent computer game publishers. Adventure International published dozens of text-based and graphical adventure games created by Adams or independent game designers, including the Questprobe series of adventure games featuring iconic Marvel Comics characters such as Spider-Man and the Hulk.

“I am excited to donate these computer gaming memorabilia that document my career to The Strong. I hope these materials will allow future generations and scholars a glimpse into the early days of the computer gaming industry and my company Adventure International,” says Adams. “I feel that all people have God-given gifts and that using those gifts properly will produce good fruits. Through the Internet, I've been blessed to meet many of the folks who enjoyed my classic games in the 1980s and told me how Adventure International had a strong, positive effect on both their lives and career choices. I am grateful to The Strong for being willing to care for all these artifacts and keep them safe for others to enjoy and study.”

The collection includes more than 130 video games, spanning the earliest known packaged copies of Adventure 1: Adventureland and Adventure 2: Pirate’s Adventure; master cassette tapes for Adventure 1 and Adventure 4; printed source code for Adventureland; product catalogs; advertising flyers; photographs; magazines; books; as well as printouts of Tic-Tac-Toe and checkers games Adams wrote in high school circa 1970. The materials strengthen and complement The Strong’s unparalleled holdings related to the early commercial computer game industry, including collections from Sierra On-Line, Brøderbund, Strategic Simulations Inc., Penguin Software, and Interplay Entertainment.

About The Strong

The Strong is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to the history and exploration of play. It 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 and houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play. 

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.