Rock and roll has a hall of fame in Cleveland, baseball has Cooperstown. And videogames may have...Ottumwa, Iowa.
Walter Day, founder of Twin Galaxies, a group that tracks videogame contests and scores, is working with local civic and commercial groups to launch The International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum. Day writes that "there will be an inaugural event on Thursday, August 13, 2009, in Ottumwa, where the initial plans will be laid out for the public to see. There will politicians speaking and film clips screened that deal with Ottumwa's well-known legacy as the 'Video Game Capital of the World.'"
This isn’t the only attempt to create a vidgame museum. I'm surprised there aren't more already. It poses an interesting challenge - how to preserve/display code from the past? Yes, there are emulators that let you play old software on new computers - but it's still not the same as playing on the original hardware. How about a museum outfitted with Apple IIs, C64s, Atari 2600s? It's only a matter of time.
David Kushner is the author of many books, including Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic & the Card Shark Kids, Levittown, The Bones of Marianna, and Alligator Candy. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, he has written for publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine.