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San Francisco Opening Computer & Video Game Museum 56

An anonymous reader writes "A team of game scholars, game journalists, and plain old geeks have gotten together to put together San Francisco's first and most comprehensive non-profit museum dedicated to the design, creation, history, and play of computer and video games. The museum is currently raising funds and shopping around for a San Francisco space, but they've already managed to get some obscure relics — including the only copy in existence of 1984's never-released Atari Cabbage Patch Kids game. As a scholarly resource, the museum is also dedicated to making its entire collection playable by visitors."
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San Francisco Opening Computer & Video Game Museum

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  • by jtdennis ( 77869 ) <oyr249m02.sneakemail@com> on Thursday March 31, 2011 @07:00PM (#35683800) Homepage

    St. Louis used to have a video game museum, but i think it went out of business years ago. I remember finding it on a trip when I was 10 or 11 and thinking it was the best thing in the world.

  • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @07:08PM (#35683846)
    I could see myself spending a few hours at a place like this, but that's because I'm nostalgically remembering a childhood when these things weren't called "museums".
    • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @07:17PM (#35683888)
      Arcades are still alive, the difference is that the technological side of things has become to where it no longer is enough to have good graphics and fun gameplay. Rather, arcades compete by having expensive hardware and novelties. For example, lightguns with scopes with screens and games with motion and non-standard controls.
      • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

        well to a point that has been true for a while, in the 90's you went to play datona in the cockpit, you plaid Samuri Showdown or Street Fighter 2 in the arcade for the experiance, and you could not afford the big machines, in the 80's while you diddled with super mario the 16 bit big expensive machines were out, you went to arcades to get that bigger better experience, even in the late 70's yea you could get pong, but it was so much more fun while half drunk with your buddies

        what is killing arcades is the s

      • I wonder how much of the "death of the arcades" was due to home PCs and consoles getting better, vs a decline safety and conditions? I know they ended up closing all of the local arcades in my area because the dealers had taken to living in the arcades and by the last year of their existence just to get in and out of the things you had to run a maze of tweakers pushing everywhere. To me the arcades always struck me one of those "this is why we can't have nice things" situations as the places would start o

        • by mikael ( 484 )

          There was one place I new of which had an upmarket arcade. They weren't just into arcade games, though, there were into everything racing cars - outdoor mini racing-cars, the networked sit down at the steering wheel time racing games as well as a game room of console systems with all the accessories. Rather than just go for consecutive customers, they arranged children's parties for a whole afternoon.

          Even if there weren't any dealers, a standalone arcade would still have the problem with the hard-core gamer

    • Some decent to great arcades I've been to recently that are filled with classic games, in order of decreasing awesomeness:

      They're still out there.

    • by Temposs ( 787432 ) <temposs@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday March 31, 2011 @08:30PM (#35684372) Homepage

      If you wanna see a real arcade museum, go to Musee Mecanique [] in San Francisco. it's got a lot of great old mechanical arcade games from the early 20th century. They're all still playable and mostly functional, and they've modded the operation mechanisms with modern quarter slots like you'd see in a modern arcade game. They also have a few of the more classic digitial arcade games scattered throughout. Truly a magnificent place!

      • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        Pfft, amateur. You think that's old school? You should check out the Depression Games museum in Montgomery, Alabama. They have ORIGINAL hoop and stick, kick the can (including both the original can AND the original sense of shame!), and a stickball stick that was once used by Joe Dimaggio (as a broom)!

  • I hate (Score:5, Funny)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday March 31, 2011 @07:16PM (#35683882) Homepage Journal

    going to a museum full of stuff that is younger then I am.

  • they should get some (real) pinball games as well and there is a lot of art to them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      But as mechanical devices they aren't really video games. So, if this is strictly a computer and video games museum, they wouldn't belong there.
      Nevertheless, pinball machines were great works of design and engineering, so it would be awesome to see them exhibited in a museum somewhere.

    • If you love pinball you should check out the Pinball Museum if you ever go to Vegas. It a pretty awesome way to spend several hours without losing tons of cash (unless you suck at pinball). :) []

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I just went to the Pinball Museum in Alameda, CA., last weekend, for the first time. It's an amazing experience....WALLS lined densely with cabinets broken up by era's. Original artwork on display with anecdotes of their creation. It was fascinating finally understanding the whole For Amusement Only history of Pinball. The curators are very approachable (relating to pinball) and certainly founts of knowledge. I asked about a video game museum of similar integrity, but sadly they were pinball minded onl

  • by mikery1 ( 142621 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @08:04PM (#35684232)

    The computerspielemuseum [].

    It was loads of fun and a total walk down memory lane. It's got a great selection of historical hardware -- Magnavox Odyssey, Intellivsion, early Gameboys, an Apple ][e, Football, etc. (Just seeing new people come in and look to find their earliest game system and smile was worth it by itself.)

    Also, they've got some great experimental games, especially the PainStation (how much phyiscal pain will you take to defeat your opponent). The discussion of how they designed Pong was interesting, the wall of old Computer Games (Zork, Leisure Suit Larry, etc.) was fun.

    On the Karl-Marx-Allee in the old East Berlin. I spent a couple hours just looking, playing and reminiscing. And almost all of it is in both German and English.

  • by eggoeater ( 704775 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @08:14PM (#35684278) Journal
    So why not host this as an exhibition at the computer museum that's a whole whopping 30 miles from SF? They can probably make some space if they come up with enough to look at.

    Yeah, they could open the "first" museum for video games in SF, but most of the money raised would go towards rent in the insanely expensive city. They should swallow their pride and work with the computer museum to make this a reality.
    • So why not host this as an exhibition at the computer museum that's a whole whopping 30 miles from SF?
      They can probably make some space if they come up with enough to look at.

      Like this?

    • by Animats ( 122034 )

      Right. Especially since the Computer Museum in Sunnyvale already has a videogame section. They have the original PDP-1 Spacewar, the original Pong game, most of the early game consoles, etc. They even have some of the early games playable in emulators.

    • During my recent visit to the Computer History Museum, there was a lot of fund raising activity, asking for volunteers, etc etc. The word "desperate" comes to mind. I have a hunch that if a large collection of computer game paraphernalia dropped in their lap, and it would attract a lot of (paying) visitors, they'd jump at the chance.
  • The museum should be at Flynn's Arcade, just for instant nerd cred, Oh wait, thats in San DIEGO

  • There was something like this in Helsinki a few ears ago. You got to play the games for only the entrance fee, and naturally it was very popular with kids of all ages. (5 ~ 50)
    Set up a safe place for teens to hang out and compete for the high-score and you'll have an arcade that actually contributes to society. Maybe a club with annual fees for the real enthusiasts.

    I think it could do more than break even.

  • The MADE's fundraising is at a critical place right now. The nonprofit has 19 days to raise a little less than $5000 in addition to their existing funds in order to make the museum a reality! If not, this scholarly resource is going to disappear.

    Take a look at their kickstarter page here, and donate, if you can: []
  • My kids went to a party at a "Computer Museum" in Smythesdale, Victoria (Australia) []. (Those from the Ballarat area will know how remarkable it's location is - it's a pretty small town). I wanted to stay and look at all the relics of my youth. The kids were facinated by it. It really did show that some of the old games are timeless.
  • I remember that during the previous earthquake, a chinese vase and artifact museum suffered severe losses.
    Hello? Why are they placing a museum of one of a kind items in an earthquake zone? It's pretty much
    insured destruction of whatever they have when the big one rolls around.
  • Sometime around 1993 or 1994, I took a day trip to San Francisco with some of my college room mates. I remember going to Seacliff, overlooking the old Bath House and there being an arcade museum in one of the buildings up on the hill. There were some games that at the time were classics - like Battle Zone and such - and you could actually play them, which was incredibly cool.

    Am I the only one that remembers this?

  • After accomplishing some of my major goals in life, I always wanted to start a video game museum for kids. My history(video games) will be lost if not preserved. Also, it is good for local kids to have something to do besides stay at home alone. The way the USA works with liability, there is nothing fun anywhere outside of places where you spend money. This is because if the place doesn't make money, some jerk sues them and they go out of existence.
    USA: Bars, department stores, and the beach if you're
  • I think that it would be much more useful to put it in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. That's in the Silicon Valley at least, and it would make a lot of sense to pair the two topics together.

    I can imagine that any large space in SF is going to be horribly expensive, too far out of the way of the main traffic areas, and will end up with financial problems and disappear.

  • This used to be a mecca for technology and comic books; this seems like a great space to put this type of museum in.
    My understanding is that the owners still haven't figured out what to do with it. Keep the movie theatre and the Game Walk of Fame, put in the museum, followed by a better arcade, and revitalize the Metreon.

    It's still one of my favorite places to go when in SF.
  • This would make a nice complement to the Pacific Pinball Museum [] (formerly Lucky Ju-Ju []) in Alameda.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern