The National Videogame Museum Is Slated For A December Opening In Frisco.
Once thought to be a passing fad, video games are now larger than the music and movie industry combined.
And like the fashion and music worlds, which have seen increasing nods to the '80s in recent years (what's up vinyl records and cassette tapes?), retro gaming is too currently all the rage. Recent local conventions like Retropalooza and the Let's Play Gaming Expo are but a few examples of this trend. And, in riding that nostalgia wave, folks are increasingly finding themselves wanting to do things the quote-unquote old way.
Having lived through the inception of video games into pop culture and their subsequent integration into everyday life, Joe Santulli, John Hardie and Sean Kelly know the history of the gaming industry better than most. After starting in the '70s and '80s as both home and arcade players themselves, they collected peripherals and games looking only at the time to improve upon their already amazing collections. As time progressed, their collections became markers of the progress of technology rather than just bragging points.
Hailing from California, Chicago and New York, respectively, the trio has seen the impact and importance of video games rise and change continuously throughout the years. So, they took it upon themselves to curate and start out the Classic Gaming Expo back in 1999. But soon, they realized that traveling so often with so much gear tends to cause undue wear and tear on the pieces in their collections. After searching and searching, the three finally decided that Frisco would be a great permanent home for their accumulation.
In December, their National Videogame Museum will open within Frisco's Discovery Center. The museum will hold not only odds and ends of electronic pop culture, but also the world's largest Pong console, as well as an authentic '80s style arcade.
From the moment you walk into the lobby, the past comes to life in the form of an amazing art piece done by Fort Worth artist Jeremy Zvitt. Upon its opening, the space will also feature pumped-in Muzak and a counter of game consoles ranging from the Atari 2600 to the PS3. Those systems will rotate in and out, allowing for hands-on play of yesteryear's biggest hits and failures.
A first glimpse of the space over the weekend shows cases of peripherals either set as prototypes or so rare that they almost seem mythical — such as Atari's Mindlink controller, which promised to the ability to play games using your mind as the controller — and a space dedicated lovingly to over 30-plus years' worth of collecting and gaming.
There will be a few more key surprises and much more in the way of education to the community that will occur between now and the slate opening. But when the doors open, be prepared for one of the best curated gates to the past out there.
Are you ready, Player One? Get those tokens ready.