The Strong

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Strong museum logo - Sep 2010.jpg

The Strong is an interactive, collections-based educational institution in Rochester, New York, United States, devoted to the study and exploration of play.[1] It carries out this mission through five programmatic arms called “Play Partners.” These are the National Museum of Play, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, and the American Journal of Play.

Independent and not-for-profit, The Strong houses hundreds of thousands of historical materials related to play. These enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe.


Known originally as the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum and later simply as the Strong Museum, it became the Strong National Museum of Play in 2006 after completing renovations and an expansion that nearly doubled its size to 282,000 square feet (26,200m2). The institution rebranded as The Strong in 2010—housing the National Museum of Play and four additional Play Partners.[2][3]

The Strong collects and preserves artifacts, documents, and other materials that illuminate the meaning and importance of play. The hundreds of thousands of objects in The Strong’s collections comprise the world’s most comprehensive assemblage of toys, games, dolls, electronic games, and other items related to play.

The National Museum of Play[edit]

The National Museum of Play is the only collections-based museum anywhere devoted solely to the study of play, and although it is a history museum, it has some characteristics of a children’s museum, making it the second largest museum of that type in the United States.[4]

The International Center for the History of Electronic Games[edit]

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 geography and culture.

National Toy Hall of Fame[edit]

The National Toy Hall of Fame recognizes toys that have demonstrated popularity over multiple generations and thereby gained national significance in the world of play and imagination. Each year the hall inducts additional honorees and showcases both new and historic versions of the classic icons of play.

World Video Game Hall of Fame[edit]

On June 4, 2015, The Strong opened the doors to its World Video Game Hall of Fame. The new addition's curator is Jon-Paul C. Dyson, who is The Strong's Vice President for Exhibit Research and Development[5] and the Director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games.[6]

The First Class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame consists of a total of six games: Tetris, Super Mario Bros, Pac-Man, Doom, World of Warcraft and Pong.[7]

The Second Class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame consists of an additional six games: Space Invaders, Grand Theft Auto III, The Oregon Trail, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Legend of Zelda, and The Sims.[8]

Games become eligible for the World Video Game Hall of Fame by meeting four basic criteria. They’re iconic, have longevity, reach across international boundaries, and exert influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society.[9]

Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play[edit]

The Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play is a multidisciplinary research repository devoted to the intellectual, social, and cultural history of play. In addition to housing the personal library and papers of eminent play scholar Brian Sutton-Smith, this Strong Play Partner holds a full spectrum of primary and secondary resources, including scholarly works, popular and children’s books, professional journals, other periodicals, trade catalogs, comics, manuscripts, game design materials, personal papers, and business records.

American Journal of Play[edit]

The American Journal of Play is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary periodical that serves as a forum for discussing the history, science, and culture of play. The Journal includes articles, interviews, and book reviews written for a broad readership of educators, scholars, designers, and others.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°09′09″N 77°36′06″W / 43.1525°N 77.6016°W / 43.1525; -77.6016