The Strong is hosting international conference on toy research

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester will become the first American city to host the annual world conference of the International Toy Research Association.

The ninth annual conference runs from Wednesday, Aug. 9 to Friday, Aug. 11. The association chose Rochester because of The Strong National Museum of Play, which recently unveiled a 90,000-square-foot expansion that includes cutting-edge interactive exhibits.

The Strong will host a hundred toy experts from across the globe including academics, doctoral students, educators, museum professionals, toy & game designers, and toy industry professionals. They will represent 20 countries across six continents.

During the conference, scholars will present research on toys from antiquities to play using artificial intelligence. Toy designer Tim Walsh, who has spent 33 years in the toy industry, will be the opening keynote speaker on Wednesday. Paul Darvasi, CEO and co-founder of Gold Bug Interactive, will deliver the closing keynote presentation on Friday.

The conference will run between 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. One-day registration is $90 and available through The Strong’s online store.

The International Toy Research Association says it chose The Strong because of its dedication to celebrating and researching play. The Strong houses the world’s largest collection of toys and video games. In addition, the museum’s Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play has nearly 200,000 materials related to the history and study of play.

“We’re honored to be chosen as the site for ITRA’s first conference in North America and to be able to share our extensive collections and resources with their many members,” said Christopher Bensch, The Strong’s vice president for collections.

The ITRA, founded in 1993, is dedicated to the scientific study of toys and games.