Imagine it’s another hot summer day in 1973. However, you and your friends are planning to attend a party in the New York City borough of the Bronx. After a long subway ride and getting lost, you make it to the party just in time to hear Clive Campbell, better known by his chosen name DJ Kool Herc, start his set. He is playing the music you came to hear. However, when it gets to your favorite part of the […]
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I was a math kid, one who enjoyed solving simple problems of multiplication and division, arithmetic and subtraction. For many years my favorite toy was DataMan, a calculator themed as a space hero that was created in the late 1970s by Texas Instruments, the same company that introduced not only the portable calculator but also such electronic toys as the Little Professor and Speak n Spell. Still, none of these simple calculations captured my fancy the way prime numbers did.
By Adam Nedeff, researcher for the National Archives of Game Show History
In 1972, longtime NBC executive Bud Grant jumped to CBS for a position as vice president of daytime programming. In his new role, Grant inherited a stagnant morning schedule of reruns from prime time. He thought game shows could spruce up a wilting lineup and bring an element of fun. Grant tried one game show in the summer of 1972 as a signal flare of sorts—an odd game called […]
When I get asked about my favorite video game, most people expect me to say Horizon Zero Dawn or BioShock Infinite based on my cosplays and the games I most frequently mention. My answer, however, is Myst. “That point and click puzzle game from the 90s?!” is the usual perplexed response. So let me explain why this game has remained a favorite for me and why it was such an important game.
Myst came out in 1993, and by 1995 it […]
“Where there are kids, there is play.” Iona Opie
“The setting of boundaries is always a political act.” Edward J. Blakely and Mary Gail Snyder
“We begin with the child when he is three years old. As soon as he begins to think he gets a little flag put in his hand.” Dr Robert LEY, leader of Nazi Labor Front.
As an urban game designer, and an immigrant to the US, I find it particularly interesting to understand the relationship between cultures and […]
When the film adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s hit book Crazy Rich Asians came out in 2018, I knew I’d have to watch it on the big screen. (A charming romantic comedy starring several of my favorite actors in beautiful Singapore? Yes, please!) Of course, I loved the movie, and—no spoilers—I was totally awestruck by the third act’s mahjong scene. The airy, bright mahjong parlor where the film’s protagonist, Rachel, meets her boyfriend’s imposing mother is peaceful and quiet, with only […]
I’m always on the lookout for play in everyday social media trends and breaking news headlines. When these spaces intersect, great examples emerge and illustrate the complex meaning and cultural function of play and playthings in our daily lives.
Take as example: protesting crowds gathered following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which upended decades of legal protections for abortion established in Roe v. Wade (1973). Among the protest signs outside the Supreme […]
by Adam Nedeff, Researcher for the National Archives of Game Show History
It was a bona fide institution for over a decade on NBC, a phoenix of a game that rose from the ashes twice, becoming a favorite for game show fans across three generations. It was Concentration, and it came to life on America’s TV screens on August 25, 1958.
Jack Barry was toying with an idea based on a childhood card game; you’d spread the deck out and turn over […]
A less than enthusiastic student during my grade school career, there were very few days I actually looked forward to. The most anticipated being—of course—the last day of school. But somewhere in between, there was parachute day in gym class, StarLab day (a giant inflatable planetarium that traveled to area schools, allowing students to crawl through a short, dark tunnel to reach a twinkling sky within), and the occasional field trip. But the thing I looked forward most wasn’t just […]