Michael Dubois, Director of Exhibits and Design, Heinz History Center:
My name is Michael Dubois. I’m director of exhibits and design at the Heinz History Center, and this is the Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s exhibit.
For every exhibit that travels, we try to add a local component. In this case, we worked with the Replay Foundation who hosts the Pinball World Championships right here in Pittsburgh. They also have quite a number of arcade games. And this is leading straight out of the ’70s into the ’80s, so we wanted to end the exhibit by designing this arcade.
The arcade has classic pinball machines – everything from original wooden legged ’50s machines all the way up to when they go to digital machines and they go away from mechanical components. And everyone gets to play them, which is great.
We also, on the other side of the arcade have video arcade games so we wanted to touch on the very first blockbuster game which was the 1978 Space Invaders. And we bring you all the way through to the first, really, superstar in arcades, which is PAC-MAN. Centipede is in there, which is the first game where one of the primary designers was a woman.
There are just some really wonderful games and it’s fun to watch all of the parents and their kids kind of separate and play the different games. You’ll see the kids all of a sudden wander over and start playing pinball with their parents and grandparents, which is one of the wonderful parts of this exhibit.