As a man, President Theodore Roosevelt preached and lived a muscular gospel of action. T.R. commanded the bully pulpit, busted corporate trusts, hunted big game, and willingly took on—both metaphorically and literally—anyone in a match of fisticuffs, even as President. But as a boy, Teedy (as he was known to his family) was weak and sickly, prone to bouts of serious, even life-threatening illness. How he remade himself is a story that has been often told but is worth looking […]
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The toy industry loves a good buzzword and lately the one I’ve been seeing is “kidult.” Kidult is usually used in reference to a specific target audience of adults who purchase toys. Generally, kidults get referenced about specific types of toys that have been increasingly popular with adults that buy toys for themselves, enough to significantly impact market trends. These often include higher end collectible toys, like Hasbro’s Black Series action figures or Barbie collector lines. They also include nostalgic […]
By Adam Nedeff, researcher for the National Archives of Game Show History
As you’re strolling through The Strong’s new Hasbro Game Park, you’ll see a 14-foot-long replica of the Scottie dog token from the classic Monopoly board game. A short walk away, there’s a 9 ½-foot long replica of the race car token. There’s also a 7-foot-tall hotel and a 6 ½-foot house. There’s even a Get Out of Jail Free area, bars included.
If you’ve ever played Monopoly, it’s only natural […]
I was born into a game-playing family. While we spent plenty of evenings watching television, to truly socialize with family members, we turned to tabletop games. Whether our choice was a card game, a board game, or something in the broader games category—Boggle, Stadium Checkers, or Cootie, as examples—games made a favorite way to be entertained and engage with one another.
Whether it was genetic or environmental, playing games went beyond my parents to their parents as well. (I never thought […]
I previously blogged about some Japanese Super Nintendo video games I had cataloged during my first few months as Curator of Electronic Games. Reflecting on my own memories of playing Super Nintendo and other systems of that generation and seeing the Japanese games I was cataloging, I recognized that many genres popular overseas often did not make it stateside.
The Sega Saturn was immensely popular in Japan, its library totaling more than one thousand games. By contrast, the American Saturn library […]
One of the joys of working in a museum collection is seeing the variety of objects that come into the museum. In 2022, my weekly round of photography brought me in contact with a mix of Pokémon plush figures. But photographing some classic Pokémon wasn’t my only interaction with the franchise. I spent February 2022 exploring the open world of Pokémon Legends: Arceus. In December, I completed my Pokédex in Pokémon Scarlet. I continued to procrastinate on several planned Pokémon […]
“Hey, you! Greenhorn. Come on out and play like a man!” challenged the dozen cowboys staring me down from an ad in an issue of Electronic Games magazine. This rhetoric surprised me in 2023, but I imagine it would have been even more jarring for readers in 1981 when the ad for Activision’s Stampede first appeared. “Play like a man!” seemed unusual, because playfulness is so rarely connected to conventional forms of American masculinity as a key trait. Yet here […]
How we play sometimes depends on where we play. Activities indoors are often constricted by space, crowding, and the presence of breakable objects. “Go outside and play,” is a cry of desperation uttered by a frustrated parent whose rambunctious kids have been cooped up inside too long. But where does that play take place?
For most of human history, kids spent their free time in the half-cultivated land around settlements or the adjacent fields or woodlots. As cities grew and more […]
Every player of tabletop roleplay games (TTRPGs) can agree on two things. First, scheduling games can be your worst nightmare since no one ever seems to be available at the same time. And second, finding someone willing take on the role of Dungeon Master (DM) or Game Master (GM) seems just as difficult. Playing this coordinating role can require extra work, planning, and effort, which sometimes none of the group are willing to tackle. Thankfully, on those days when you’re […]