Any gamer over the age of 12 has moments when he or she looks back fondly on older games, consoles, and handheld systems. And yet, unlike the countless museums around the world erected to celebrate music, art, films, and sports, there isn't anyplace for aficionados of interactive entertainment to go to look back on the history of their hobby.
The three guys behind the Classic Gaming Expo, an annual event that pays tribute to the software and hardware of years past by exhibiting more than 20,000 video game artefacts, want to change that. The trio has established a registered charity with the aim of establishing a permanent brick and mortar museum that will act as an attraction for game fans all year long.
The Videogame History Museum has officially entered its first phase: fundraising to finance...more fundraising. Clearly, obtaining and designing an appropriate space to house the history of interactive entertainment will take a lot of money-especially given the organization's goal of including pretty much everything ever manufactured that has something to do with a game.
"Our intention is to cover it all," said founder Sean Kelly in a statement. "Every game made for every system, every piece of promotional material made for each game, every revision of every console with specific notes as to the differences, the design progression, and so on."
You can't fault them for thinking too small.
The first round of fundraising is taking place on crowdfunding site Kickstarter.com, which in the past has proven a boon for video game related projects such as Indie Game: The Movie, a documentary on indie game development by a pair of Manitoban filmmakers that recently raised nearly $40,000 in 24 hours through the site.
The Videogame History Museum's initial goal is a modest $30,000. As of Monday, July 25th, just two days into the campaign, the group was already more than a third of the way to reaching its objective. Pledge prizes include a plaque that will reside on a wall inside the museum naming sponsors who give $1,000 or more as "Founding Donors." You can visit the kickstarter project here.
The group has yet to announce potential locations for the museum, but one obvious option would be Las Vegas, where the majority of their existing collection is currently stored and where the annual Classic Gaming Expo takes place each year.
It's safe to say that the museum's groundbreaking ceremony is still years away at this point. In the meantime, gamers looking to explore the medium's history should keep an eye on a large gaming exhibit coming to the Smithsonian in the spring of 2012 called The Art of Video Games. The esteemed American institution recently held a public selection process that resulted in tens of thousands of gamers choosing more than 200 games from the past 40 years that will become part of the exhibit.