Date of Degree
Michelle A. McSweeney
American Popular Culture | Digital Humanities | Game Design | Human Geography | Social History
1964-1965 New York World's Fair, text-based game, Python
The project is a text-based game of a typical day during the first season of the 1964 World’s Fair in what is now Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The 1964-1965 World’s Fair, that Robert Moses presided over as president, was one of the largest and most expensive fairs ever created, but only days after the last fairgoer left through the turnstile most of the many pavilions that brought education, entertainment, and joy to so many people were destroyed to leave a vast open space that is relatively empty to this day. Although most of the pavilions were either relocated or demolished, there are a few structures and traces that live on since the end of the second and last World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Pavilions such as the New York City Pavilion and the Singer Bowl, which are now the Queens Museum and Louis Armstrong Stadium, respectively, are still visited and enjoyed to this day, and renovations to other significant parts from the Fair, such as the towers of the New York State Pavilion and the Pool of Reflections, are further signs of life from the Fair’s half-century past.
However, these are only small facets of the World’s Fair that are still a part of the Park. During the 1964-1965 seasons, there were more than 150 pavilions and over 51 million people from all over the world came to visit. For most of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the lack of infrastructure is a significant void from the once heavily populated fairgrounds. Once something is destroyed it is difficult to then piece it together in a meaningful manner, but with the assistance of technology, software and information new approaches can be disseminated for a larger audience to experience, enjoy and gain a better understanding of the 1964-1965 World’s Fair. This significant event of the City’s history deserves another avenue to inform and through a text-based game, a new audience can learn about the Fair and its historical context as well as allow an older generation to delve into the digital realm.
Gass, Christofer R., "Fair World 64: A Text-Based Game of the 1964–1965 World's Fair" (2020). CUNY Academic Works.