New archives will preserve history of game shows

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — It’s a jackpot for game show fans.

The Strong National Museum of Play on Wednesday announced the creation of the National Archives of Game Show History, to be stocked with scripts, props, set designs and other materials collected from game show performers, writers and executives.

The project is co-founded by television producers Howard Blumenthal of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” and Bob Boden of “Funny You Should Ask.”

The idea has found early supporters in “Jeopardy” champion-turned-guest host Ken Jennings and Wink Martindale, who spent decades guiding contestants through “Gambit,” “High Rollers,” “Tic-Tac-Dough” and “Debt.”

“I grew up watching game shows as a daily ritual,” Jennings said in a news release from The Strong. “They’ve shaped who I am as a person, as well as our cultural landscape.”

Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections at The Strong, said the game show archives were a natural fit for a museum that preserves the history of play.

Materials will be displayed at the museum and in traveling exhibitions, he said.

“It is wonderful to hear about the National Archives of Game Show History stepping up to capture and preserve the legacy of game shows,” Martindale said in a statement. “Without this initiative, many primary resources relating to these shows, as well as oral histories of their creators and talent, risked being lost forever.”

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