Update: It looks like the museum has been approved!
There is a $1M proposal out in Frisco, TX to put a permanent video game museum in place. It wil be called “The Videogame History Museum”, and if approved, the renovations in the Frisco Discovery Center will begin in January 2015, with an expected opening in April 2015. The Frisco Discovery Center is currently home a children’s museum, Frisco Arts, the Frisco Art Gallery and Black Box Theater. The addition of The Videogame History Museum will be interesting to the Frisco Discovery Center, but at the same time, give more validity to the fact that video games are, in fact, an art form.
About the National Videogame Museum
The National Videogame Museum is a nonprofit organization formed by John Hardie, Sean Kelly, and Joe Santulli, who came together and brought their collections together to form one of the largest collections of retro gaming in the country. The collection goes on tour to various conventions and expos, but they now want to find a permanent home for their collection.
A Deal in the Making
Currently, the proposal is going before the Frisco Community Development Corp. who will vote on granting up to $1M for building renovations and startup costs of the museum. They are calling this first phase as “National Videogame Museum 1.0”, with future plans to have a much larger and more permanent home for the museum in Frisco. Under this deal, the first $800K would be allocated towards rennovations inside the Frisco Discovery Center, while another $200K would go towards startup costs of the museum. Additionally, the annual lease of the space would be $1. The National Videogame Museum, in return, would provide about $2M worth of its collection to the museum, as well as launching a capital campaign for the 2.0 version of the museum, which must be within the city of Frisco. They are estimating 42,000 visitors to the museum in the first year.
What’s in the Collection
So the most important part of all of this is to see what will actually be on display. Although it is not decided yet what exactly will go inside, most likely we will see many of the vintage home game consoles, arcade machine, vintage computer systems (eg Commodore 64, TI-99/4A, etc.), and lots of rare systems and prototypes.
So as one of the older writers on GameSkinny, I remember growing up with a lot of this stuff. While we did have some kind of home version of Pong when I was a kid, it wasn’t until Christmas of 1978 when my dad brought home the Atari 2600 that his friend at Atari gave us as a gift. It completely changed my world.
I have seen the collection from the Videogame History Museum at various conventions such as CES, E3, the Classic Game Expo, and GDC, and each time I have seen it, it always brings back a lot of childhood memories. The Vectrex is one system that I have always been intrigued with, and good to see that in the classic game world, it’s still a big hit.
I think that it is great that there are efforts to preserve the history and culture of videogames, and I’m sure that I will be making a visit to Frisco, TX if the National Videogame Museum does indeed become a reality!