Every fall, across the United States, young men strap on helmets, crowds gather to cheer, and players smash into each other on the gridiron. Football is one of the country’s favorite pastimes, and today it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry. And yet it’s also a sport that has come under attack for the injuries it can cause players, especially those related to damage to the brain, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
It began with a phone call from Paul Reiche III last summer.
In our new book from the World Video Game Hall of Fame, A History of Video Games in 64 Objects, we faced a challenge. Which objects should we include? The Strong museum, home of the World Video Game Hall of Fame, has hundreds of thousands of objects related to video games in its collections, and so we needed to include just the right mix of artifacts that were important, helped tell the broader history of video games, and would engage readers.
How do you tell the history of video games?
The recent decision by the producers of Call of Duty:WWII to return the game’s setting to World War II—after a detour into modern warfare and futuristic science fiction—reflects not only the franchise’s success with this period but also the fact that no other war has so captured the imagination of playmakers and players.
In addition to collecting video and other electronic games and materials that document how these games are made and sold, the staff at The Strong's International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) is also interested in preserving evidence of player culture.
Today, fantasy role-playing video games—in which players assume the role of heroes wielding swords, casting spells, riding dragons, and battling monsters—are among the most popular and influential of games.
The Strong launched the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) in 2009 because we believed video games were too popular, too creative, and too influential for their history to be lost.
It is impossible to tell the story of educational computing without acknowledging the tremendous importance of Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation (MECC), the first organization to provide widespread access to games and other computer software for educational purposes.