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Lorenzo Cultural Center looks at how games influence us with Let’s Play! Toys, Games & Culture program series

– Thursday, February 6, 2020 10:00AM

Exhibits and presentations focus on the history and impact of the games we play

Macomb Community College’s Lorenzo Cultural Center will examine how we play and its cultural impact with Let’s Play! Toys, Games & Culture, Feb. 25 through May 2. With nearly 30 presentations complemented by exhibits in the cultural center’s 8,500-square-foot Discovery Hall, Let’s Play! Toys, Games and Culture will take participants through the history of our favorite games, as well as offer a critical look at how toys and games influence our society and culture.

“Examining how we play can tells us a lot about how we live,” said William Wood, director of cultural affairs, Macomb Community College. “Let’s Play! not only provides a walk down memory lane but also gives insight into how we learn from play.”

The exhibit includes approximately 250 artifacts, including vintage video games, a large selection of Barbie dolls that show their evolution over the years, an operating miniature train, a talking doll designed by Thomas Edison, and other antique dolls, games and toys. The exhibit also features a 10-foot Rubik’s Cube, giant stuffed teddy bear and interactive floor games young visitors can play. The artifacts are on loan from the Henry Ford Museum, Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Arsenal of Democracy, Romeo Arts and Archives, the Washington Historical Museum and several private collectors.

The presentations kick-off Thursday, Feb. 27, 11 a.m. with Backgammon: A Brief History and How to Play. Maurice Barie, author of Backgammon as Played in Hollywood, will present the basics of backgammon rules and strategies for winning. On Thursday, March 5, 11 a.m., bestselling author David Shenk will discuss chess during The Immortal Game, chronicling its intriguing history from ancient Persia through modern day, including discussion of a legendary game from 1851 between two masters of the time. Also early in the series is The Genius of Lego: How LEGO Became the World’s Greatest Building Toy with Mark J.P. Wolf, author and professor at Concordia University-Wisconsin. He will explore the history of LEGO, what has made it so successful and how it has changed over the years.

Other topics covered early in the program series is How Kindergarten Changed the World, Yo-yo Tricks, The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury and Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game and Toying with Science.

While the presentations and exhibits are open to the public free of charge, preregistration is required for the presentations. For a complete listing of presentations and to register, go to No registration is required to visit the exhibits. The cultural center is open Tuesday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Lorenzo Cultural Center is located on Macomb Community College’s Center Campus at 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township.

About the Lorenzo Cultural Center

The Lorenzo Cultural Center provides interactive learning opportunities for all ages.  It extends student discovery beyond classroom walls as well as creating multi-faceted opportunities for community members to explore the influences and experiences that shape our heritage. 

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 38,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is one of the largest grantors of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media contact: Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271,