Shannon Symonds is a curator at The Museum of Play, home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG). This institution in Rochester, New York, is home to 60,000+ artifacts of gaming history, from rare game consoles, coin-ops, and prototypes to design documents, periodicals, and transcripts. Shannon, who last month was profiled in the book Women in Gaming, recently curated the Women in Games exhibit, showcasing the contributions of generations of women to video games.
In this interview, Shannon and I discuss what gaming rarities ICHEG houses, where they come from, and where they go; the challenges in preserving a digital medium; what a visitor to the Women in Games exhibit will see if they look up; why Bahiyya Khan deserves a place in gaming history; what to study in college to become a museum curator; why Shannon was surprised to be in Meagan Marie’s Women in Gaming anthology; and what we both love about Star Trek: Discovery.
Stream the audio edition of this interview below or from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Overcast, Pandora, Pocket Casts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, RadioPublic, or the Internet Archive. Click past the jump for links to resources mentioned in this episode.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Shannon Symonds on Twitter
- The Museum of Play
- The International Center for the History of Electronic Games
- World Video Game Hall of Fame
- Women in Games exhibit (on display Nov 17, 2018 – mid-May 2019)
- Women in Games: Inspire! microtalk videos
- Women in Games initiative
- Jimmy Maher’s The Digital Antiquarian
- Richard Garriott’s Akalabeth: World of Doom (playable at the Internet Archive)
- Polygamer #83: Bahiyya Khan of after HOURS
- Polygamer #84: Meagan Marie, author of Women in Gaming
- Transporter Lock – A Star Trek: Discovery podcast
Full disclosure: I have donated various gaming items to The Strong’s collection over the years.