Picture yourself when you were younger. Do you remember wrapping up in a blanket, sitting inches away from your mammoth television screen? Did you spend sleepovers with friends the same way? Like moths attracted to the soft glow of a bug zapper, you spent hours in front of that screen, mashing your thumbs against a plastic controller until your mother told you it was time for bed. If you do, then you remember playing video games as a child.
I know I do.
I have always loved two things: Video games and the United States Navy. Growing up in Hampton Roads, I felt a deep connection to the Navy, and a deeper love for the burgeoning entertainment medium. It wasn’t until last year that the idea to put the two together stuck. Why not mix the best of both worlds: naval history and video/board games?
You can find out about both and their connection on June 19th during our next After Hours History event, “You Sunk My Battleship:” Navy Video andBoard Game Night.
As we ended the Cold War in the early nineties, new consoles rolling out of Japan brought us smoother graphics and complex interfaces. For naval video games, opportunities seemed endless. Replicating on the success tested in previous decades, game developers took popular concepts of naval aviation, pencil and paper strategy, and vertical shooters to the next level.
What has changed since then? Less than you think. Screens are flatter. Games are now digital. Many are available via wireless Internet or on digital video discs (DVD). Controllers got smaller, then larger, and then smaller again. We are now at a point where humans become the controllers.
Yet in a way, today’s budding generation of gamers know that same feeling I felt many years ago. I marveled at the brilliant 8-bit backgrounds and elaborate splash screens. The way the pixelated ships lagged across the television screen. The music. The anticipation of beating a high score. For a young boy, these were some of the best thrills money could buy, neatly packaged in a plastic cartridge. It’s hard to think such a tiny piece of technology could bring so much joy and excitement to countless people over the last thirty years.
Like it or not, video games taught us valuable lessons in coordination, memory, cognition, thrift, and time management. HRNM staff invite you to relieve old memories and learn a little about the role of the United States Navy in video and board games.
During the 19 June event, we will have the following for all those who reserve their spot:
- Free Food and Drinks (Family Friendly) courtesy of the Hampton Roads Naval Historical Foundation
- Main Event: High Score contest for the 1984 Arcade Game 1942 in the Nauticus Theater. Play the game on a giant screen!
- Three other video game stations with playable versions of the most beloved naval video games of all time!
- Panel exhibit on the history of the United States Navy and video/board games.
- 3 brand new activities created by HRNM Education that take a naval "spin" on classic board games: Stratego, Memory, and Battleship.
|One of the games in BETA Mode. A Civil War Navy spin to Stratego!|
Don’t forget to RSVP for the event. It will run 6pm to 8pm. You can either call our reservation line at (757) 322-3108. Or go to the Facebook events page: http://on.fb.me/12jXztF
Stay tuned when we announce the list of games in upcoming weeks!