New York's Capital Region in 50 Objects

New York's Capital Region in 50 Objects


Each region of the nation has its own distinctive history and identity. The New York’s Capital Region—consisting of Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Saratoga Counties—is no different. But what best identifies the region? What events, objects, people, and ideas have contributed to its character and uniqueness?

To learn the answers, we presented these questions to the numerous museums, historical organizations, libraries, and residents of the Capital Region. The fifty objects that were ultimately selected present an exciting history of the Capital Region, including well-known favorites but also unexpected surprises. Some of the fifty objects characterize very broad topics like the textile industry and the Hudson River School of art, while others embody large populations of people who shaped the character of the region, such as the Dutch and the Iroquois. Many objects represent specific people or events, such as writer William Kennedy and the Battle of Saratoga. In some instances, the objects represent themselves, like the GE Monitor Top refrigerator and Albany’s beloved Nipper statue. A complementary image accompanies each of the fifty objects, providing context and additional information.

Overall, the fifty objects clearly demonstrate that this narrowly circumscribed part of New York State has played an astonishing role in shaping the history of the nation and, in several instances, the world beyond the confines of our national borders.

Vicarious Visions

In 1991, brothers Karthik and Guha Bala started creating a small game, Synnergist, as a hobby. Their hobby transformed into a corporation namedVicarious Visions in 1994, and two years later, in 1996, Synnergist was published.

Their next game, Terminus, won awards for Best Programming and Best Audio at the Games Festival at Game Development Conference in 1999. Subsequently, the recognition launched Vicarious Vision’s next chapter, developing games on the Game Boy Color (GBA). Spider-Man for the GBA, led to unique hardware developments, which gained the attention of major publishers such as Activision, Inc., and Nintendo.

Vicarious Vision’s next big game was Tony Hawk for the GBA in 2001; it was the first 3D game produced on handheld hardware. The game won numerous awards, including a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts). Vicarious Visions then went on to produce the Crash Bandicoot series on GBA, Crash Nitro Kart for PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox, and Doom 3 for the Xbox.

In 2005, Vicarious Visions became a part of Activision, Inc., and the following year the company moved to new space in Menands, New York. This new arrangement with Activision led to huge titles such as Guitar Hero on Wii, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, and then the Skylanders series. Recently, Vicarious Visions has created multi million dollar games such as Skylanders Swap Force, and their newest game Skylanders Supercharges.

Wash Buckler Statue

Vicarious Visions/Activision Blizzard

c. 2013

Painted composition

Courtesy of Vicarious Visions

Barrens: Style Study

Vicarious Visions/Activision Blizzard


Digital image

Courtesy of Vicarious Visions

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