Born in 1914, Dare Wright spent her early childhood with her mother, famed portrait artist Edith (Edie) Stevenson Wright. Edie treated Dare like a companion and the pair often created imaginary worlds through reading, writing, drawing, carpentry, and sewing. Dare loved to read Robin Hood, Grimms’ fairy tales, and The Lovely Garden, and she spent countless hours occupied by her dolls. Following Dare’s enrollment at Laurel boarding school in the fourth grade, Edith purchased Dare a 22-inch-tall Lenci doll on […]
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In the Autumn, 1975 issue of Strategic Review, the precursor to Dragon Magazine, Gary Gygax wrote:
John Bobek and Bill Hoyt have used D&D as a teaching aid in grade school classes. Bill has a great little book of accounts of adventures and illustrations of monsters prepared by his 6th graders. Wish I’d have had such luck as a child . . .
Role-play gaming as a formal and specific game type began with the invention and introduction of the original Dungeons […]
After the dropping of two bombs in 1945 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, humanity’s ability to harvest the potential of nuclear energy became a recurring theme in play. In the beginning, nuclear power seemed like an awesome force that offered great promise, even as it was recognized as perilous and destructive. As time went on, however, its catastrophic capacity began to outweigh its potential for good in the public mind, as fears of global destruction invaded the imaginations of toy and […]
As video game graphics became more advanced, the tools required to create them also became more advanced. Artists today can choose from any number of free and paid software tools, allowing for the creation of both 2D and 3D graphics that could only be dreamed about just decades prior. In the past, though, developers needed to develop those specialized tools themselves.
Following the release of 1972’s Pong, Atari’s arcade games grew increasingly complex. Lunar Lander in 1979 was the company’s first […]
“Your breath smells like camel spit and urine samples,” exclaimed one of my dearest friends at the top of his lungs, as a group of our friends walked to the local pool, in the summer of 2002. While the rest of our crew was caught up in the rapture of laughter at what might be the best roast I have received to this day, the challenge of a response weighed upon me. Timing was everything in these engagements. The right […]
As part of an ongoing museum project, I am digging into archives to locate the history of Rochester at Play. As someone relatively new to New York and Rochester—where The Strong calls home—I am connecting more deeply to the city as I learn how and where people played historically. Rochester locals graciously share stories about sledding hills and the old play spaces unfortunately swallowed up by construction. City historians and archivists steer me to resources that spotlight the fun tales […]
The Toy and Game Industry in the U.S.
The U.S. toy industry, for obvious reasons, doesn’t have hundreds of years of history extending before the industrial revolution that Europe experienced. Before the early 1800s, if you were a child of wealthy parents, you likely had toys purchased from overseas for you or perhaps purchased in one of the new-fangled “department stores” in a major city. If you weren’t so fortunate, the few toys and games you most likely had were “folk […]
Many people know how much impact Jews and Jewish culture have had on entertainment industries like film, television, and comic books. But Jewish designers, entrepreneurs, and inventors have also shaped the world of toys, games, pinball, and video games, and the products of their careers are a huge part of the collections of both The Strong museum and the childhoods of millions in the U.S. and around the world. Those careers go back to the early days of the industrial […]
In October 2021, The Strong launched The Sid Sackson Portal, a project funded by the National Archives’ National Historical Publications and Record Commission, which holds pride of place here in the archives.. On the site, you can view full PDFs of each year’s diary or Browse the Collection to keyword search or to view individual page image files. You can also learn more about Sid and his career, view hundreds of photos of game prototypes (as well as published games), […]