We CHEGheads and everyone else at ICHEG and The Strong are thrilled that we’ve received a grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) for $113,277! Here’s what the grant is for and why it is important.
My two favorite childhood Christmas gifts were a red three-speed bike and a blue-boxed Basic Dungeons and Dragons set. On the bike, I rode miles from home, shifting gears to climb previously unconquered hills and discover new places around my small Connecticut town.
Over the last month, fellow CHEGhead Eric Wheeler and I attended two video game events—D.I.C.E. Summit and the Game Developers Conference (GDC)—featuring lots of information not only about the latest titles, but also about classic games and the history of the industry.
I’ve played chess for decades, and during most of that time I’ve also enjoyed chess problems. Such puzzles, which chess players have constructed and enjoyed for centuries, present a chess position and task players to solve a particular problem related to it—white checkmates in four moves or black sacrifices a knight to win the queen.
When Will Wright donated some of his design notebooks to ICHEG, I couldn’t wait to get a glimpse into his creative process. Examining this acquisition made me more aware of how fundamentally different his games are from those of many other designers.
The next time someone criticizes video games for their impact on moral values, here’s some historical perspective to offer them.
What games would you include if you had to present the history of video games in 4 minutes? That’s the challenge ICHEG exhibit designers faced when determining what to put in a montage of video game clips from the past 50 years. Each clip lasts about 10 seconds, and starting next week the video is on display in ICHEG’s eGameRevolution show at the Strong.
The CHEGheads had to decide whether to pick the most famous games or the most infamous; the best games or the most popular; the most loved or the most representative.
The Strong, ICHEG’s parent organization, just acquired the only complete run of Playthings magazine, a great resource for anyone interested in the history of electronic games. Started in 1903, Playthings appeared monthly and for more than a century served as the main publication for the toy and game industry.
Museums stabilize artifacts by storing them at proper temperatures and humidity and away from damaging light. Objects properly preserved—like an old doll or board game—will last, for all practical purposes, for perpetuity.
Following the blog I wrote recently on video game preservation in Europe, readers sent me emails about a couple of other museums there. One is at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, which currently has a temporary exhibit on the history of video games. The other is the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games in Moscow. Let us know about your experiences with these or any other video game museums.