People play video games for a myriad of reasons. Relaxation, mental stimulation, engrossing plotlines, eye-catching graphics, and much more draw gamers to certain titles. But one goal in particular lures players back to games over and over again: high scores. In the modern world of gaming, it’s easy to share personal accolades. Consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation offer achievements and trophies for completing various tasks throughout their games. Mobile apps often feature badges, online ranking boards, […]
Not long ago—1977, to be exact—in our very own galaxy, moviegoers witnessed the birth of a legend. Since its inception, the Star Wars franchise has generated billions of dollars in film, television, and merchandise, and is one of the most iconic titles in entertainment history. But while its popularity is undisputed today, that was not always the case. In fact, it was quite the opposite, which led to what could have easily become one of the biggest faux pas in […]
“Up and down, over and through, back around—the joke’s on you.”
Deflection, Blue Ice Age Magic Card, 1995
On November 7, 2019, I was delighted to help celebrate the induction of Magic: The Gathering into The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame. And that occasion inspired me to think back on my own personal history with the game. I played Magic: The Gathering for the first time during my senior year of high school. I’d played card games before, of course, but […]
While working on The Strong’s exhibit on the history of women in the video game industry, I decided to do some research into the earliest examples of playable female characters. I already knew I’d be including some beloved favorites, such as Midway’s Ms. Pac-Man (1982) and Nintendo’s Samus Aran from Metroid (1986). Others were new to me, such as the titular character from the game Lady Bug (1981), a maze game by Universal Entertainment Corporation and the first example of […]
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
Well, almost. Christmas still wins out for me, but this is a close second. And not just because May brings with it Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you!) but because it’s time for the World Video Game Hall of Game inductions!
This is our fourth year honoring the best the gaming industry has to offer, based on criteria that includes icon-status, longevity, geographic reach, and cultural influence. This year, four new […]
Carol Shaw, the first widely recognized female game designer and programmer, has donated to The Strong a collection of console games, printed source code, design documents, sketches, reference materials, and promotional objects representing games she created for Atari, Inc. and Activision in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Shaw is most recognized for her best-selling game River Raid (1982)—published by Activision for play on the Atari 2600 home console—which sold more than one million copies. These donated materials will play […]
For many decades, women have played key roles in the design, production, manufacture, marketing, and writing of video games, and yet their history in the gaming industry is too little preserved and too often underappreciated. The Strong’s Women in Games initiative will document and celebrate these crucial contributions through a concerted effort to collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts and archival material related to women in gaming. The Strong will feature many of these materials in an onsite and online exhibit […]
Chances are if you mention Play-Doh, your listener will know exactly to what you mean. Not only does the name elicit a mental image of the product in a small yellow can with a colorful lid, but it also evokes sensory memories: bold and vibrant colors; soft, pliable textures; an unmistakable aromatic scent; the soft “pop” sound of the can being opened; and yes, even taste—the distinct salty flavor that almost every child has certainly sampled at one time or […]
I have a confession to make. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I’m hoping readers will understand.
I’m 34 years old, and just recently, I attended my first rock concert. Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering my profession, this concert consisted of a hard rock opera based on the 1980s video game series Mega Man.