Video Game Creative Process Revealed in Don Daglow Papers
August 17, 2010

Video Game Creative Process Revealed in Don Daglow Papers

Rochester, N.Y. - The International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) in Rochester, N.Y. has acquired, by donation from video game pioneer Don Daglow, a collection of notebooks and personal papers that will enable researchers to peek inside the thought processes of the creator of two groundbreaking games: Neverwinter Nights (1991), the first multi-player, online role-playing game to use graphics and the one credited with launching the Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs); and Utopia (1981), often regarded as the first simulation game, pitting two players ruling rival islands in a competition for resources, wealth, and survival.
Don Daglow’s donated materials include folders and binders filled with detailed sketches, computer code, notes, business papers, and reference materials pertaining to the development of Neverwinter Nights, Utopia, and several additional unreleased games.

“The papers, along with videotaped explanations provided by Don Daglow himself, preserve for researchers and historians the creation process of some of the most important games in video game history,” says ICHEG director Jon-Paul C. Dyson. “They show how Daglow was able to take a kernel of an idea and develop it into groundbreaking games that influenced an entire industry.”

Says Daglow, “I’m delighted to donate my working papers to Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games. I’ve toured their extensive archives and seen the care with which the curators and librarians handle historic documents. It's great to know that these materials are in a facility where they'll be preserved with such care and professionalism.”

Daglow’s donation is the first of several he plans to make to ICHEG¹s Don Daglow Collection, which will document his video game career and be used by researchers as well as featured in the upcoming eGameRevolution exhibit opening at Strong National Museum of Play on November 20, 2010. The interactive 5,000-square-foot exhibit will invite guests to experience electronic games, old and new, and learn about their history and influence on the way people play, learn, and connect with each other. The exhibit will feature two dozen operating video-arcade games, as well as a variety of historic and contemporary playable home console and PC games. Displays will offer a new perspective on the connection between electronic games and the traditional toys that inspired them.