National Videogame Museum  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | National Videogame Museum  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The National Videogame Museum is open to the public Sun, 03 Apr 2016 06:07:58 -0400 Taranis8

The National Videogame museum opened its doors to the public on April 2 in Frisco, Texas. Offering a hands-on experience to visitors, the museum was founded by gamers John Hardie, Sean Kelly, and Joe Santulli. 

We've been archiving the history of the video game industry since about 1988, 1989. Together between the three of us, we have by far the largest collection of video game software, hardware, memorabilia and documentation in the world.”said Sean Kelly

In the past, there have been exhibits of video games in other museums such as the Smithsonian. But, never has there been a whole museum in the United States dedicated to it.

We were surprised there are national game museums in other countries. But our country, where it was all born, doesn’t [have them],” said Joe Santulli

The museum is not meant to be a place where you stand and read all day. They have a retro arcade and giant Pong game that gamers are allowed to play.

The National Videogame Museum allows gamers to relive those first moments and take trips down memory lane. More information on the museum can be found on their website.

Why we need the National Videogame Museum Fri, 04 Dec 2015 12:36:25 -0500 Zanne Nilsson

Reading Ms. Graham's great recent article on the soon-to-open National Videogame Museum made me glad about several things. Along with generally being relieved that there would soon be a central place in America that will work to preserve video games themselves, I was also thankful that the museum is working to actively collect and preserve the stories that make up the history of video games as both an industry and an art form.

Recently I came across this piece written by Patrick Scott Patterson for G4@Syfygames, in which he talks about the ways video game history has been represented and misrepresented over the years, and the importance of learning about it. He argues that it is "[o]nly by knowing this history can we truly know where the industry came from," learning from the successes of the past as well as the mistakes. (After all, how can we avoid repeating the infamous industry crash of '83 if we don't know what caused it in the first place?)

So, we have to educate ourselves - but how? Patterson recommends going back to old books and video game magazines. While I do think those are valuable resources, they're also going to take much more time to read than the average gamer likely has - especially since many of us struggle to find time to even play games.

Books like The Ultimate History of Video Games offer a decent alternative, but they are also limited in scope. By necessity, they must discard some names and stories in order to create a central, coherent narrative of how the video game industry took shape.This limits our knowledge to the "big names," leaving out all the other people who collaborated to bring every single game to life.

The National Videogame Museum, however, is working to collect a wide variety of firsthand stories from the people who made history. This will give the museum - and its visitors - the ability to look at video game history from multiple different angles, seeing how all the little stories weave together to make up the larger narrative. They may even be able to track down the early uncredited designers and programmers whose decisions helped make video games what they are today - in spite of the fact that some went unnamed even in magazines of the time, such as the group of Intellivision programmers referred to as the Blue Sky Rangers. The NVM will be able to fill in the gaps that those old books and magazines can't.

This museum will give video game history a central place in our country where we can learn and spread this information until the basics of video game history become common knowledge. It will give future generations a place to learn and even be inspired to make games themselves. And it will give everyone a chance to play the games that made history.

More than anything, it will make history into an active, playable thing that everyone can enjoy.

Video Game Museum to Come to Texas? Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:15:18 -0400 mchiu

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!