The Strong National Museum of Play will open two exhibits — one focused on pinball machines, the other on arcades — on May 24, organizers announced today.
"Pinball Playfields" highlights four non-playable machines: 1932 table Ballyhoo, 1933 table World's Fair Jigsaw, 1947 table Humpty Dumpty and 1948 table Triple Action. According to organizers, the exhibit "traces the evolution of the pinball playfield ... from countertop games of the 1930s to the sophisticated electronic versions that remain popular today." Jeremy Saucier, assistant director of the museum's History of Electronic Games, says each table is only a sampling of historically significant tables collected by the museum.
Attendees will be able to play several machines from that collection, such as Vagabond, FunHouse, Lord of the Rings and Monster Bash.
"Boardwalk Arcade" — which ran last summer as well — features arcade cabinets such as Punch-Out!!, Virtua Racer and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Other activities, such as carnival games and titles such as Fruit Ninja and Temple Run, will also be present.
Both exhibits will run until September 7. For more on how the museum seeks to connect today's games with the past, read our interview with Saucier or our feature on preserving the history of video games.
Last week, the Strong acquired "practically the corporate archive" of Atari Games' coin-operated division.