Play Stuff Blog

The Strong’s historians, curators, librarians, and other staff offer insights into and anecdotes about the critical role of play in human development and the ways in which toys, dolls, games, and video games reflect cultural history. Learn even more about the museum’s archival materials, books, catalogs, and other ephemera through its Tumblr page.

Halloween Hoopla

I’ve got my Halloween candy ready for the trick-or-treaters and a plan for how I’m going to decorate my front door with construction paper bats, but it was still a bit of a surprise to arrive at the museum this morning and find half my colleagues dressed (tastefully,

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Remembering the Dark Tower

 

As I took the field and prepared for battle, a tiny yellow flag with a double-headed eagle marked my kingdom, the Citadel of Durnin.

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Did You Get Your Goo?

Now that the special is over, I am curious to see what you paid for World of Goo.  Do you think the game is a worthy investment?

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Get Your Goo

Here’s a neat opportunity you might want to seize from 2D Boy Games.

Their World of Goo is a unique and quirky physics-based puzzle game that won both the Design Innovation Award and the Technical Excellence Award at the Independent Games Festival in 2008.

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POW! - The Original Online Game?

Howdy Buckaroos!

If my greeting strikes a familiar chord with you then it is likely that:

1. You’re a native Rochestarian;

2. You’re my age, give or take a few years.

If you’re still clueless, let me help you out.

Ranger Bob

 

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Play it Again, Sam

Recently my wife and I heard Michael Feinstein in concert. Feinstein has earned fame not only as a pianist and singer of popular songs from Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood, but also as a dedicated researcher into the history of popular song in America. His knowledge was on full display during the concert, when he would often pause between songs and recount the back story of the next number.

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Showing Our Stuff

You might not think of museum curators as showoffs, but we are.  Personally, I love speaking in public and appearing on TV. However, the type of showing off that curators like best is the kind that involves sharing our collections with the world.

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Creating an Ideal Community

The games I love to play as an adult—strategy games such as Age of Empires: The Asian Dynasties and Sid Meier’s Civilization IV—are clearly influenced by my childhood favorites, perhaps most significantly Utopia for Mattel Intellivision.

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Comic Book Heroes and the Battle of Good vs. Evil

Joseph Campbell, the scholar of comparative myth whose work inspired the Star Wars saga, reminded us that every archetypal hero of fable and fiction is drawn into an adventure, enlists the support of trusted comrades, passes alone beyond a threshold of ordinary endurance, survives the crucial ordeal, and then remerges steeled and restored. Whether his name is Gilgamesh, Quetzalcoatl, Hercules, Odysseus, Orpheus, Beowulf, or Luke Skywalker, every typical hero of myth endures the arduous tests that give him moral substance, self-knowledge, and the key to restoring his power.

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You Say It’s Your Birthday

My mother just celebrated her eighty-fifth

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