The Strong Museum and The Video Game Hall of Fame

Written By: Brandon

VG museWith summer just around the corner, I assume that many of you have already planned your vacations and have chosen fun things you will do. Your suitcases are probably packed, tickets purchased, and you can’t wait to lie on the beach and soak up the golden rays of the summer sun. While there are lots of activities to do this summer, many of you may want to take a stroll to Rochester, New York and visit the ultimate destination for all dorks, the Video Game Hall of Fame. That’s right! There is an entire building comprised of historic video games that will sure to make any nerd’s hair spike up! I have done some research on this new museum, which is referred to as The Strong National Museum of Play.

I can’t put into words how much I admire video games. I have played lots of different games growing up, and was so excited to hear that there is an actual place dedicated to video game lovers everywhere. The Strong was originally founded in 1968 by Margaret Woodbury Strong, a lover and collector of toys, dolls, and other everyday objects. It is known as one of the largest museums in the nation and contains many different exhibits that kids and adults can enjoy. The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame has all types of games including arcade, console, hand-held, and even mobile.  vidja gamesThis year, the Museum announced these video games to be welcomed into their Hall of Fame collection. They are;  Angry Birds, Doom, FIFA, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pac-Man, Pokémon, Pong, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders, Super Mario Brothers, Tetris, and World of Warcraft.   There is also a certain criterion that is used when deciding whether a video game should inducted into the Hall of Fame. These specific guidelines are icon status (where the game is widely remembered and recognizable), longevity (the game isn’t just a fad and has been popular over time), geographical reach (the game expands across international boundaries), and influence (the game needs to present a form of importance and significant influence on another game or other forms of entertainment). Influence is the most significant of the four guidelines, and a game can even be inducted solely on this premise alone. Hopefully this keeps out the riff raff like Super Man 64.

I would also like to examine one of the final games inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame. Out of all the games on the list, I would have to say that Pokémon is certainly my favorite. The first Pokémon game I ever played was Pokémon Blue on my Gameboy, and it didn’t take long before I became addicted to the game! I remember how excited I felt seeing all the different Pokémon and watching them grow and develop. I also loved playing Pokémon Stadium on Nintendo 64 because it made me feel like I was a real trainer. I kept playing up until high school and still own all my Pokémon games and even my original Gameboy.    Pokémon is definitely one of my all-time favorite games, and I am so happy The Strong has chosen it for its Hall of Fame collection.red-blue

While Pokémon was my favorite of the listed games, I wish to end this discussion by asking you which game you liked the most? What are some games you want to see inducted into next year’s Hall of Fame class?  Even though I have never visited The Strong personally, I feel that this is one site that cannot go unnoticed and maybe I might have to take a road trip up to Rochester and visit this captivating museum. Until then, game-on fellow dorks and nerds of the world!!!

Childhood Video Games

Written By: Johnny

Master_Sword_Artwork_(Skyward_Sword)

Video games as a kid were the things I looked forward to most. I grew up on a street where there was only three to four other kids. We would play outside in my yard sometimes, my house was a corner house so my front yard wrapped around the house and connected to the backyard, and most of my friends had a much smaller one. Day in and day out, we would play outside, get bored and then go in and play video games.

My grandparents on my mother’s side were the first to introduce me to video games. They live across the street from my childhood home and would often watch me after school when my parents workedBreakout2600.  But I had older cousins who would sometimes visit and before I came around my granparents bought an Atari 2600. They had a handful of game cartridges; Pitfall, Indy 500, and the notoriously bad E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. I was very little but my favorite game was Breakout, using a dial controller was a fond memory.

Johns grandfathers video game collection today

My grandparents had also purchased the Nintendo Entertainment System. The combined Super Marios Bros. and Duck Hunt was one of my favorite games for that console. They had all Three Super Mario Bros. Mario 2 was so vastly different than the original it was veryconfusing for Kid John. And Mario 3 was just fantastic; it was the first to introduce a map in between levels, which carried over to Super Mario World on SNES.  One of my favorite games at this time, that I still need to revisit and beat was this weird game called Zoda’s Revenge. I never got past the first chapter of the game, and after reading the synopsis online I really want to beat it.

 

The first system my parents bought me megmanxwas Super Nintendo around age 5, along with Donkey Kong Country, Mega Man X, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers game and Mario Kart. At this age I started to make friends with the neighbor kids, we would go over each other’s houses to play on our different systems. I had SNES, my friend Joey has Sega (and Sega Genesis eventually), he introduced me to Sonic the Hedgehog which became one of my favorite characters that I followed to later consoles.

 

DonkeyDonkeyKongCountry_1 Kong Country and its sequels bring fond memories of bonding with my mom. Although neither of us were very good at beating them, I remember being able to play file after file, getting further and further until we got to those really hard levels in Gorilla Glaicer. I really love that I got to share my early gaming memories with her. My mom has always been there for me, I know gaming wasn’t really what she wanted to do but she did it to spend time with me, and that will always be a very special memory.

As N64 became my household norm, Blockbuster began renting games out. I had a few games that I owned but on weekends my mom would take me to blockbuster to give me a two day game rental. The weird thing with that was at this time, game cartridges were advancing in a way that let them save game memory (this was a feature in some SNES games but became a norm in N64), so each weekend when I re-rented Banjo Kazooie I would pray for a copy that had been mostly completed so I could explore the latter levels I didn’t have the time or skill to get to.lol-netflix

 

If you haven’t figured itout yet, I was not the best gamer. I had difficulty with higher levels in games and anything intermediate or harder took multiple attempts for me to figure out and master. At this age, it was very rare that I beat any game. The first time I ever sm64yoshiwitnessed someone finish a game was my best friend at the time, Sean, he somehow got 120 stars in Super Mario 64, and accessed the the cannon outside of Princess Peach’s Castle. I could get to the Third Bowser stage but could never beat him until two years ago. The very first game I ever beat was also on N64, and no joke it was a blockbuster rental. Yoshi’s Story was a game I started one Friday afternoon and played straight through to Sunday morning. As the credits rolled and the Happy Tree was safe I became confused, ‘it’s like a movie?’ I never gave it much thought; I never really considered games as stories up until this point. As a child video games never had an ending, it usually ended with me getting bored or dying. But this game showed me there was more to that there was something to strive for.

 

Even before that, I introduced myself to the game that changed my life. In one lazy summer in the blockbuster game rental isle I found myself holding one of the greatest games of all time. I found myself spending time and time again with this game. It took a couple years but I eventually beat it, and furthermore this was the first game I one hundred percented. 250px-GoddessesDepartOoT

But that, my friends, is another Ocarina in Time (winks), until next time friends, what game meant most to you as a child?