The National Videogame Museum has finally announced their opening day, which is now being planned for late December this year.
The Museum project signed a lease for space in Frisco, Texas over 13 months ago, and has been steadily preparing for their grand opening since. The deal with the Frisco Community Development Corporation Board will allow the non-profit Museum to use about 10,400 square feet in the Frisco Discovery Center. Frisco City also plans to spend over $800,000 on building improvements to the center for the Museum, as well as an agreement to donate $100,000 for startup costs that the Museum would have to match.
Prior to this, the National Videogame Museum had no formal home, but was often found touring various cons and expos, including the Game Developers Conference and E3.
The Museum was founded by Joe Santulli, John Hardie and Sean Kelly. All three are classic gaming enthusiasts who have been working together on their Museum project since the year 2000. Hardie and Kelly are also two of the original co-founders of the Classic Gaming Expo, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The concept of the Museum debuted at the first Classic Gaming Expo in 1999, and has steadily grown since then.
In 2011, the founders began a Kickstarter campaign to help achieve funding for a permanent resident for their growing collection. The team was able to attain over $50,000 out of an original goal of $30,000.
A special preview of the museum will take place this Saturday from noon to 4 pm, with the founders showcasing some early exhibits, including over 45 consoles and pong machines, rows of televisions playing vintage video game commercials, and a 1980’s styled arcade room named Pixel Dreams. The Museum has also revealed their new mascot; a video game robot named Blip. Other exhibits will also be available for viewing purposes only, including old Pong machines and a rare prototype of the unreleased Atari Mindlink.
The founders are also planning a second wave of funding for ‘version 2.0’ of the Museum after they officially open, so they can acquire a bigger space in Frisco.
The National Videogame Museum is one of only three official museums in the United States dedicated to video games and game preservation. The second; the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, houses video games, prototypes and research materials for video games, as well as toys and board games. The other; the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) in Oakland, California, is currently using Kickstarter to fund an upgrade to their own facilities. The MADE has been featured on youtube earlier this year on Gamespots web series The Point, regarding game preservation.
So what do you think, are you excited for a new video game museum? Leave your comments below.