Every age has its storytelling form, and video gaming is a huge part of our culture. You can ignore or embrace video games and imbue them with the best artistic quality. People are enthralled with video games in the same way as other people love the cinema or theatre.
– Andy Serkis
Gamer or not, you have to admit that videogames have played a huge role in our society today. From the multiple platforms we’ve grown up fueling that gaming needs, the universe of gaming spans way beyond your favorite consoles from your childhood. Frisco, Texas is home to the innovative National Videogame Museum (NVM) that will leave you in awe as your relive your childhood – one console at a time.
David and I ventured up to Frisco before the grand opening for a chance to check out what this museum was all about. Even after all the sneak peeks, pictures, and press releases – I still wasn’t prepared for what we had in store.
As I stated, I wasn’t fully prepared for what we had in store for us in the vast amount of intrigue that was at our hands as soon as we entered the doors. You are promptly inundated (in the best way) with a crash course in console history with one of the most beloved characters, Mario, greeting you in his glory.
David and I wasted no time perusing the history behind each of the consoles using the oversized Super Nintendo controllers. David viewed everything about his favorite console the Playstation 1 and his favorite game Final Fantasy VII, while I fondly remembered all my memories on the Sega Saturn.
We quickly learned that NVM is a museum that allows for you to be hands out and interactive as you venture through the history within its walls. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, there is a new corner that is welcoming you to discover hidden gems that you may or may not be familiar with. A helpful tip, be prepared to spend a large amount of time interacting with various components in the museum.
Being so intrigued that Frisco was the new home to NVM, I was very excited to learn more about how this amazing venture from co-founder John Hardie. Hardie explained that the passion and inspiration of NVM stemmed from wanting to learn more about the history and creation of videogames. With over 30 years of collecting video game artifacts and having a traveling exhibit, the founders always knew that they wanted a permanent space to display all the history for more than just a few weeks out of the year. The City of Frisco unanimously voted for the Frisco Discovery Center to be the home for NVM.
Coming from a museum background, I was extremely curious as to how this state of the art museum would serve its purpose within the community. Hardie was very informative that they have a solid group of well-knowledgeable volunteers that are manning the museum and making sure everything’s running smoothly. As the interest in the museum grows, they are always looking for new ways to eventually build a capacity of even more volunteers. Aside from the presence of volunteer opportunities, Hardie explained that they are hard at work with methods of engaging the community through educational opportunities for both girls and boys, moms and dads, and people of all ages. He beamed when describing NVM as educational but fun!
Since I had the opportunity to meet one of the founder of NVM, I had to know what his favorite console and video game was. What I didn’t realize was that I was in for quite the treat! Hardie’s favorite console is the Atari 800 and his favorite game is Miner 2049er by Big Five Software. The best part, it was actually set up in the museum and playable. We didn’t waste a minute before heading over to check out a few rounds of Bounty Bob searching the mines and collecting tools.
Hardie explained that this was his favorite console because it was one that many parents could justify allowing in their homes. Why? It was educational and useful, but they had no idea that it was such a groundbreaking gaming console for their kids.
After our crash course in Miner 2049er, Hardie provided us with some insight of the one recommendation he highly suggest for anybody visiting the museum. If you do anything, make sure you drop into the Pixel Dreams arcade! Hardie enthuses that they have curated one of the best 80s arcade collection with a feel and environment to match. As soon as you step into those doors and snag some tokens (be sure to have a little bit of cash for tokens), you are taken back to a time when smartphones were obsolete and you would spend all day on Ms. Pac-Man like a champ.
Founders John Hardie, Sean Kelly, and Joe Santulli have curated a vast collection of videogame artifacts and materials to build state of the art exhibits for all to enjoy. The National Videogame Museum is the only museum in America that is not only dedicated to the history of the videogame industry, but will serve as a trip down memory lane for people of all ages.
With the mission to preserve the history of the videogame industry by archiving not only the physical artifacts, but also the information and stories behind its creation – the National Videogame Museum will win over the hearts of all gamers alike. The National Videogame Museum is NOW OPEN, so grab your family and head to Frisco for the fun. Here are some helpful quick tips for your visit: