Another major and irreplaceable early video game collection has been preserved for future generations, which is a very good thing.
The Strong museum complex in Rochester, New York has acquired the largest private collection of Japanese video games in the world. The collection will be integrated into their International Center for the History of Electronic Games, which has nearly 50,000 objects overall, and which was already the largest worldwide public collection of video games, other electronic games, consoles, artifacts, publications, and archival materials.
ICHEG acquired the games from André and Sylvio Hodos, two brothers from France who began importing video games from Japan back when they were teenagers and then kept going until they had collected every game for each of 22 different console systemsof the 1980s and 1990s.
The collection includes home consoles, handhelds, peripherals, and accessories manufactured by Sega, Nintendo, NEC, and Pioneer. It also includes all the packaging and instructions for each game in very good or mint condition, which is almost unheard of in large old game accumulations.
Two of the rarest games in the collection are:
- Kunio-kun no Dodgeball da yo Zenin Shuugou! Tournament Special Gold Cartridge (English: Mr. Kunio’s Dodgeball, Assemble Everyone! Tournament Special Gold Cartridge) and
- All Star Power League Gold HuCard
Both were special limited editions originally created as prizes for tournament winners.
ICHEG will be displaying materials from the collection in future museum exhibits, they're also being made available to researchers who visit ICHEG and its Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play.
I have donated my professional papers and materials to The Strong and work with them as an Advisor on their collections. We all recognize the critical role that Japanese video games have played in the growth of our industry, and I'm thrilled that instead of being scattered to a thousand collectors this archive will be preserved for everyone to be able to study and appreciate.