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Strong's National Center for the History of Electronic Games Acquires 114 Classic Arcade Machines

Strong's National Center for the History of Electronic Games Acquires 114 Classic Arcade Machines

September 9, 2009 | By Kris Graft

September 9, 2009 | By Kris Graft
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Rochester, New York-based Strong's National Center for the History of Electronic Games said Tuesday that it acquired the Electronics Conservancy's Videotopia Collection -- 114 vintage arcade machines ranging from from Arabian to Zoo Keeper.

Videotopia is an international touring exhibit, Strong said, that lets those interested not only see the classic arcade machines, but also play them. Videotopia was originally going to close on November 1 this year, but now will be open until January 3, 2010. Videotopia opened at Strong in May.

According to NCHEG director Jon-Paul C. Dyson, purchasing the collection is part of preserving a part of American entertainment history. "You can't tell the history of play in America without talking about the impact of video games," he said in a statement.

"From Pac-Man and Donkey Kong to Space Invaders and Tetris, these games have captured our imaginations, given us iconic characters, and launched a revolution that has affected the way we play, learn, and relate to each other. The Videotopia Collection will help us to preserve this important part of play history for scholars and the general public for many years to come."

Electronics Conservancy president Keith Feinstein said he was "relieved" that the collection found a proper home. "Just as filmmakers watch prints of classic films rather than colorized versions on television and painters travel great distances to be able to see the brush strokes of the great masters rather than merely looking at copies in books, the game artists of the future will find this collection an invaluable resource."

After the closure of the exhibit on January 3, Strong will host a smaller video game display within its museum. Another public video game exhibit is in the works from NCHEG, tentatively dubbed, "The Revolutionary World of Electronic Play." It's slated for 2012 and will take up 15,000 square feet, the museum said.


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