It was a brisk 30 degrees in Rochester, NY on Friday November 8, 2019. Coming from Los Angeles, the cold was a shock to my system, but well worth it. I made thejourney east to a end a screening of Josh Tsui’s new documentary about Williams/Bally/Midway… Insert Coin. The screening was hosted by the Strong Museum,a highly interac ve museum with 100,000 square feet of exhibitions. Whereas most museums are dedicated to things like science, natural history, or world history, the Strong Museum is dedicated to “Play.
The Strong was founded in 1968 by Margaret Woodbury Strong, primarily to showcase her collection of dolls and toys. After her death in 1969, the museum became supported by her estate, and gradually grew in both size and scope. But it wasn’t until the mid-2000’s that the museum refined its mission to focus on the exploration of the concept of “Play” and to collect, preserve and interpret the history of “Play” in whatever forms it may take.
I arrived in the afternoon and met up with Jeremy Saucier, the museum’s Assistant VP for Interpretation of Electronic Games. Also present were Josh Tsui, the director of Insert Coin (and like me, a former Midway employee), and Ken Fedesna, former VP of Engineering for Williams/Bally/Midway and boss to both myself and Josh when we were there making games. Jeremy was instrumental in arrang-ing the screening and along with some colleagues, he gave us and our guests a tour of the facility.
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