The artist and photographer Taryn Simon once opened an exhibit with a now-widespread observation: “Archives exist because there’s something that can’t necessarily be articulated. Something is said in the gaps between all the information.” Simon gets at something important here, I think. We tend to think of the gaps in archives as, at best, markers of where we need to “fill in” the historical record in the pursuit of some absolute, final body of total knowledge. But gaps can also […]
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The video game company Her Interactive adopted the slogan “For Girls Who Aren’t Afraid of a Mouse.” The firm’s fan letters and focus group collections informed my research on how video games are a technological construction of human expression. Her Interactive was a company focused on creating games based on the reception they received from their audience—girl gamers. They wanted to make video games based on the Nancy Drew series of novels more story driven so that girls would be […]
We welcomed four new inductees into the World Video Game Hall of Fame class of 2022: Ms. Pac-Man, Dance Dance Revolution, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Sid Meier’s Civilization. They span almost a 20-year period in game history, with Ms. Pac-Man coming out in 1981, Civilization released ten years later, and DDR and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time debuting in 1998. Interestingly, that seventeen-year time span actually marks the most time-compressed period for any of our World […]
This month we opened our new maker space, Play Lab. It’s a bright, busy place, filled with equipment for assembling, building, crafting, cutting, designing, fashioning, gluing, hammering, programing, soldering, and weaving. Our public programming team and guest services staff will hold facilitated sessions where kids (and adults) can create. It’s hands-on fun!
For kids, making things is an essential type of play, one that teaches as it engages. Scholars note the benefits of construction play. Construction play trains spatial skills. It […]
By Andrew Borman
When Ars Technica journalist Matt Paprocki discovered a lost Atari laserdisc title Playland, I decided to dive into the Atari Coin-Op Division corporate records at The Strong to see if we could learn more about the game, and who worked on it.
Finally, an area where Millennials and Gen Z have an advantage: both generations have consistently had access to gaming on the go. From the Nintendo Game Boy to Tamagotchis to smartphones, if you needed to kill some time before meeting your friends (or wanted to ignore your siblings on a long car trip with the family), you could grab a portable gaming device from your backpack and voilà—instant entertainment. Our Gen X comrades remember when this wasn’t always the case. […]
How did you spend the summer after your high school graduation? Though that was a few more years ago than I care to enumerate, some memories spring to the forefront of my mind: feeling anxious and excited about starting college in the fall; working long hours at a family entertainment center (where I was occasionally costumed as a giant mouse…); and spending those last, warm evenings having fun with my hometown friends. I was certainly not doing anything groundbreaking—pretty much […]
The once pejorative term “walking simulator” was often deployed to single out video games that bucked the trend of delivering a fast-paced, action-packed, adrenaline-pumping experience with clear-cut rules and goals and instead opted for making video games organized by a thin set of rules and optional tasks in favor of open-ended wandering and exploration. These days, walking simulators show promise as they rise in popularity, signaling an important shift in interest among developers and gamers alike toward nuance, discovery, and […]
“To err is human, to forgive divine” — Alexander Pope
Somebody had blundered. It’s a truism of most organizations and most human initiatives. It’s especially true in wartime. Alfred Lord Tennyson stamped the phrase indelibly into the English language in his poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade”: Forward, the Light Brigade!” Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew Someone had blundered. Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and […]