Dany Guay-Bélanger, currently in the second year of his MA in Public History, is working with the Canada Science and Technology Museum on its collection of video games going back to the 1980s. The problem, for Dany, is that many of these games are no longer able to be played – the cartridges have degraded, the systems on which they once worked no longer are safe to plug-in, or can’t be found! How do you study such ‘dead’ games? How do you work out what they meant to the development of the Canadian games industry, or the formation of a digital historical consciousness? You go to the Strong Museum of Play!
From the Strong website:
“The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play. Together, these enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive and educational activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe.”
Dany applied for a research fellow during the fall term, and is currently at the Strong. During his research fellowship, Dany will foster connections between the Strong and the Canada Science and Technology Museum, where he is the current Garth Wilson Research Fellow.