Jon-Paul Dyson

Video Game History in 4 Minutes

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.

Playthings Magazine Documents the History of Electronic Games

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.

ICHEG's Approach to Collecting and Preserving Video Games

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.

More Video Game Museums in Europe

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.

Creating MMORPGs: The Neverwinter Nights Story

Don DaglowVeteran game designer Don Daglow recently gave the International Center for the History of Electronic Games a collection of design documents, early drafts of code, play test reports, and other papers that document the development of his games, including Neverwinter Nights (1991), one of the most important games in the history of the industry.

Three Themes of E3

Between individual meetings about our work here at ICHEG, I grabbed an opportunity to wander the E3 conference floor in LA. After interacting with the various displays, I concluded that this year's E3 encompassed three themes:

A Generous Gift of Video Game Guides

Ever been stuck in a game? You’re not alone. Back in the 1980s, when I was cutting my gaming teeth, I remember being stymied by Colossal Cave Adventure. I was playing the Osborne Computer version, written by Mike Goetz I believe, and to win the game you had to amass 580 points by solving a series of puzzles and challenges to acquire all the treasure. I had figured out almost all the problems in the game but couldn’t complete it. At last a friend told me I could teleport from room to room with the secret word, XYZZY.

GDC 2010: Game Psychology 101

Ever since 1986, when Chris Crawford invited leading game designers to his home to discuss their work, the Game Developers Conference has been an annual forum for the world’s foremost innovators to share ideas and consider the future of the industry.

Each year at GDC, I am drawn to sessions that explore what makes for good play. This held true for GDC 2010, which I attended with my fellow CHEGheads, Marc and Eric.