Niagara Gazette

October 7, 2013

Strong Museum now houses world's largest collection of Japanese video games

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — The International Center for the History of Electronic Games at The Strong Museum in Rochester is now home to the most comprehensive museum collection of Japanese video games in the world.

What is being described as a "massive collection" was recently acquired by the museum pushing the number of video games and related materials to nearly 50,000 items.

The center cares for and preserves the most complete public assemblage of video games, other electronic games, game platforms, and related artifacts, publications, and archival materials anywhere.

The center acquired the games from brothers André and Sylvio Hodos, collectors in southern France who began importing video games from Japan 20 years ago as teenagers and then systematically collected every game for each of 22 systems. Spanning the 1980s and 1990s, the collection covers a crucial period when Japanese video game designers were pioneering many of the most important technologies and styles of play that influenced game design and spurred interest in Japanese culture globally.

Explained Andre Hodos, “After giving two decades of our lives to completing these sets and capturing nearly 20 years of console video gaming history, it is a great honor to know that our collection will have a ‘good home’ and will be preserved for future generations by one of the most respected museums in the world.”

The collection is comprised of nearly 7,000 Japanese video games spanning 22 systems, and includes home consoles, handhelds, peripherals, and accessories manufactured by Sega, Nintendo, NEC,  and Pioneer. The items, many of which are rare, are in mint or very good condition and include all relevant packaging and instructions. Two of the rarest games in the collection are Kunio-kun no Dodgeball da yo Zenin Shuugou! Tournament Special Gold Cartridge (translation: Mr. Kunio’s Dodgeball, Assemble Everyone! Tournament Special Gold Cartridge) and All Star Power League Gold HuCard—both special limited edition games that were given away as prizes for tournament winners. The center will use collection materials in future museum exhibits and make them available to researchers who visit from all over the world.

 “The history of this collection underscores the global nature of video game technology and game play,” says center director Jon-Paul Dyson. “These games were made in Japan, played soon after their release by two teenagers in France —who wanted to get them as soon as possible — and have now come to the United States. By adding to The Strong’s unparalleled collection of software, hardware, media, and archival materials with this large, prestigious, and well-preserved collection, (the the International Center for the History of Electronic Games fulfills its mission of ensuring that the rich history of video games is preserved for scholars, the general public, and everyone who loves these games and understands their importance.”

The International Center for the History of Electronic Games collects, studies, and interprets video games, other electronic games, and related materials and the ways in which electronic games are changing how people play, learn, and connect with each other, including across boundaries of culture and geography. It is situated at The Strong in Rochester which also houses the National Museum of Play and the National Toy Hall of Fame.