Outside of the Folder, the Box, the Archive: Moving toward a Reparative Video Game History

Pow, Whiney (Whit)
ROMchip: A Journal of Game Histories

I feel a strange kind of loss when I look through Danielle Bunten Berry’s archive in the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. Bunten Berry was a luminary. She reached toward a future for multiplayer games decades ahead of her time. Her games were first and foremost built for multiplayer, like Modem Wars (1988) for MS-DOS, which many consider to be the first commercial video game to link multiple computers through a dial-up connection for real-time online play. In her work, Bunten Berry destabilized an entire industry focused on single-player as the norm, imagining the future of video games not as a lone experience, but a dynamic and what she called an “orientation”: something that moves people toward each other...