Paul Sams, former Chief Operating Officer at the American video game developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment, has donated a collection that traces the history of the company and highlights the importance of its games. Sams worked for Blizzard from 1996 through 2015 and served as the Chief Operating Officer for eleven years.
It’s official! The members of the inaugural class of The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame are Pong, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, DOOM, and World of Warcraft. All of these games stand out because in addition to being great games, they have transcended the world of gaming to impact our wider culture.
We are excited to announce that The Strong has launched the World Video Game Hall of Fame to recognize individual electronic games of all types (arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile) that have been popular over a sustained period and influenced the video game industry or popular culture in general.
I lost a friend this past weekend.
A century ago, Max and Dave Fleischer, two brothers from Brooklyn, developed a device that allowed animators to capture live-action events frame by frame. They tested their system on the roof of Max’s apartment building, where Dave, wearing a black clown suit, cavorted in front of a white sheet. Max captured the movements on film and projected them onto a glass plate that he then used to trace out pictures of individual movements. The result was rotoscoping, an animation technique that Max patented in 1915 that produced amazingly life-like movements.
Biologists who study the fossil record note that dramatic blooms in the number and diversity of species interrupt long periods of stasis or gradual change in animal forms. Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould termed this phenomenon “punctuated equilibrium” and wrote a book, Wonderful Life, about the sudden efflorescence of fossils during the Cambrian period about 550 million years ago.
ICHEG collects a vast array of materials. Sometimes they come in groups of thousands, like the archives of the Atari Coin-Op divisions we acquired, and sometimes they come in ones and twos, like John Romero’s first Apple II+ computer and design notebook that he donated. John recently joined us in installing these items in The Strong’s eGameRevolution exhibit.
Statistics sit at the heart of baseball. A hitter’s batting average predicts his success at the plate, a pitcher’s Earned Run Average measures his overall effectiveness, and a fielder’s rate of errors correlates strongly with his likelihood of making a play. Since computers prove effective tools for measuring probabilities and statistics, it is not surprising that some of the earliest applications of computers for game play involved baseball simulation.