A few months ago, I took part in a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for State and Local History in Richmond, VA. I promised eventually I would post the video of that presentation as it had been recorded and here it finally is (I’m on part 1). The presentation was part of a series of state-by-state reports on Connecting to Collections projects sponsored by the IMLS in an effort to help historical societies across the country gain better control over their collections. As part of the grant,in January 2011 I and nine other University of Delaware Museum Studies students traveled to the sleepy town of Laurel, Delaware, for two weeks, braving the elements and a nasty bout of the flu to help the Laurel Historical Society take charge of their artifact and document collections. It really was a valuable experience, throwing me into the thick of collections management and conservatory work complete with mold exposure, and I would not have traded a second of it for the world.
In other news, I was briefly interviewed for a piece in the Collingswood Patch regarding my thoughts on the appeal of old school video games and the future of video games as a medium. It was a spur of the moment interview while the girlfriend and I were checking out an Atari play session at the retro furniture store Dig This in downtown Collingswood, NJ. I got to meet some cool people and talk about video games, but the real highlight of the evening was getting to see the looks on the faces of the children who came out with their parents, who had grown up on Atari, to get a chance to play classic games like Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, and Missile Command for the very first time. Their enthusiasm and their shouts of glee or surprise as they tried to fend off just one more missile or bank a quick turn to dodge a pursuing ghost just shows the lasting appeal those kinds of games have. Modern games have their appeal with their complexity but there will always be a place for simplicity in games.