The Strong publishes and co-publishes books that illuminate its collecting and interpretative activities and advance the study of play.
Play: A Basic Pathway to the Self
Based on the exceptional scholarship of distinguished sociologist Thomas S. Henricks, this penetrating, accessible, and wide-ranging collection presents the culmination of his efforts—through the American Journal of Play in particular—to elucidate what play is and what it means to human beings. The book presents five of his original essays and an interview that previously appeared in the journal with the addition of a new essay, a historiographical study of play scholarship. It also includes a foreword by Scott Eberle, former editor of the American Journal of Play.
Now retired, Henricks was the J. Earl Danieley Professor of Sociology and Distinguished University Professor at Elon University, where he also served as dean of the social sciences department and associate dean of the university, from 1977 to 2018. His publications include Play and the Human Condition; Selves, Societies, and Emotions: Understanding the Pathways of Experience; Play Reconsidered: Sociological Perspectives on Human Expression; and Disputed Pleasures: Sport and Society in Preindustrial England.
Play: A Basic Pathway to the Self is available for purchase through The Strong. Order Now
A History of Video Games in 64 Objects
Explore the evolution of video games, from Pong to Pokémon Go, in A History of Video Games in 64 Objects written by The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame and published by HarperCollins.
Drawing on the museum’s unparalleled collection of electronic games and related artifacts, this groundbreaking book tells how video games have transformed over time through in-depth stories and engaging photographs. Learn about Tennis for Two (1958) and the computer revolution, The Oregon Trail (1971) and the rise of educational gaming, Pac-Man (1980) and the popularity of arcades; and evolution of console systems from Ralph Baer’s Brown Box to the Atari 2600 and beyond.
A History of Video Games in 64 Objects is available for purchase in The Strong’s museum shop and wherever books are sold. Order Now
Play for Life: Play Theory and Play as Emotional Survival
Play for Life: Play Theory and Play as Emotional Survival is an edited compilation that contains, among other features, the final book-length manuscript of Brian Sutton-Smith, preeminent play scholar of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The book is compiled and edited by Charles Lamar Phillips and three members of The Strong’s American Journal of Play editorial team: G. Rollie Adams, Scott Eberle, and Patricia Hogan. It includes a foreword by Thomas Henricks, professor at Elon University and one of the nation’s most prominent play theorists.
Play for Life: Play Theory and Play as Emotional Survival includes an autobiographical examination of Sutton-Smith’s career (first published in The Strong’s American Journal of Play) and a complete bibliography of Sutton-Smith’s authored, coauthored, edited, and coedited books, chapters of books, and articles. In the section “Play as Emotional Survival,” Sutton-Smith presents the thesis that play is a response to six fundamental emotions—surprise, fear, anger, disgust, happiness, and sadness.
Classic Toys of the National Toy Hall of Fame
Get reacquainted with the greatest toys of all time in a lavishly illustrated book, Classic Toys of the National Toy Hall of Fame, authored by Scott G. Eberle, former vice president for play studies at The Strong, and copublished with Running Press.
The book traces the history of some of the toys that have been inducted into the prestigious National Toy Hall of Fame—toys Americans have grown up with and still love today. In this coffee-table compendium of photos, anecdotes, and fascinating historical facts, you will discover how these toys came to be—who invented them, how they were made, where they were sold, why we played with them, and what made them so popular. From alphabet blocks to View-Masters, these are the toys that have engaged and delighted multiple generations.
Classic Toys of the National Toy Hall of Fame is available for purchase in The Strong’s museum shop and at a variety of retail book stores. Order Now
The Handbook of the Study of Play
The Handbook of the Study of Play brings together diverse thinkers across academic disciplines to explore the vital role of play in human development. The two-volume set is published by The Strong and Rowman & Littlefield Publishers and coedited by The Strong’s Scott Eberle, former vice president for play studies; James Johnson, professor of education at Pennsylvania State University; Thomas Henricks, professor at Elon University; and David Kuschner, associate professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati.
The Handbook of the Study of Play tackles important questions about educational policy, literacy, fitness, the role of play in brain development, spontaneity and pleasure, well-being and happiness, fairness, and the fuller realization of the self. It also describes how different professions incorporate findings from play theory and research into applied settings. It is available for purchase online through Rowman & Littlefield and other retailers.
Read a review of The Handbook of the Study of Play published in the Fall 2015 issue of the American Journal of Play.