Have you ever wondered what Ken Jennings did with the necktie he lost on Jeopardy wearing? How about what happened to the tickets to older game show tapings? Well, they’re probably going to be enshrined at the Strong Museum of Play’s National Archive of Game Show History in Rochester, New York. Heck, if the curators get their way they could even get the original Wheel of Fortune board. Wouldn’t that be neat?
Speaking of, the curators and founders of the Game Show Archives are Howard Blumenthal and Bob Boden. You might know those names as being known for producing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and Funny You Should Ask, respectively.
Where is this being stored at?
The Strong Museum of Play in Rochester plans to house this upcoming collection in their 90,000 square foot expansion. The good news though is that it’s already under construction and that they plan on having a digital collection up in about a year.
However, the physical collection probably won’t be available to the public until the expansion is complete, likely sometime in 2023. Unfortunately, you can see the collection soon, but won’t be able to actually see the collection for a couple of years.
The Strong Museum also houses the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Video Game Hall of Fame, the American Journal of Play, and the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play.
What will the National Archives of Game Show History have preserved?
The museum would like to have materials and records from a variety of audiences involved in making game shows such as the producers, talent, directors, writers, and designers among others. These materials and records like scripts, props, set design, and other memorabilia would be the core of the experience.
Until it opens to the public, the Strong Museum plans to use the Archives to be a research hub on game shows, their evolution through the century, success stories, and failures among others in one centralized location. For researchers in academia and in industry, it would be a treasure trove.
Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time champion also backs the project. He sees the way other important American art forms have been preserved and cataloged, and now says “I think it’s the game show’s turn.”
We here at Event Game Shows agree with Mr. Jennings and also can’t wait to hop on over to Rochester and delve into game shows of yesteryear. Of course, we’d also like to browse the digital catalog. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see you there when it opens.
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