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San Francisco Opening Computer & Video Game Museum

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the even-more-reason-to-visit dept.

Education 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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St. Louis video game museum (3, Interesting)

jtdennis (77869) | about 3 years ago | (#35683800)

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.

Re:St. Louis video game museum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687878)

That would have been the National Coin-Op and Video Game Museum [coinop.org], I believe. Sadly, I never even knew of the place until well after it closed down. There's also the Provisional Video Game Museum of Saint Louis, but that doesn't look like it's really going anywhere, unfortunately.

Is that what Arcades have become? (5, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about 3 years ago | (#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".

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683996)

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.

And games with niggers. Lots of niggers.

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#35684472)

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 sheer lack of intrest, and not really by patrons either, there is a large arcade with tons of old school through "current' games, and the place is jam packed, the problem is the "current" games came out 10+ years ago, and while good games never die, your not going out of your way to play on a dreamcast with a jet ski controller nearly as much as you did when showing up to an arcade gave you a chance of playing something new and interesting

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#35686138)

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 out nice but quickly the dealers would descend like vultures and then here would come the violence and bullshit. Kinda like if you want to find hookers in any place in the country just go to any truckstop as there will ALWAYS be hookers at the truckstop.

Funny part is according to my friends that are in law enforcement you know where the hotspot for violence and bullshit is now that the arcades are gone? Chuck E Cheese of all things. According to them they have become a haven for the really scummy "baby's mamas" type that are just looking to start shit and will throw down if anyone even looks at their little ankle biter sideways. they said they get more calls to the Cheese in a week than most places see in 6 months, so it wouldn't surprise me if they are the next place to go. Kinda sad, but this is why we can't have nice things.

But I wish them all the luck in the world. I still remember racking up such a high score on Vanguard and Pleiades I'd end up just handing them off to some kid because I could have kept going forever, or laughing when my dad accused me of burning in the TV set only to crook my finger at him and lead him into the den where my mom had been on DK JR on my ColecoVision and had gotten into the zone and would play for hours.

I still hear the sounds of DK JR or Yar's Revenge in my sleep sometimes from where my mom would play those in the wee hours of the morning, Dad ended up having to get a second set and let mom keep that one for gaming. Now she sits at my old 3GHz Celeron hand me down playing Age Of Empires 1 (I still haven't figured THAT one out. I swear that game is like catnip to females, they all just love it) along with her match three and CSI games. I even managed to get old dad to play, even though he hadn't touched a game since my old Tiger Handheld football (remember THAT one? With the LEDs?) by putting the latest Deer Hunter on his office quad, so when he is sitting waiting for a call he'll do some Mule Deer bow hunting.

Funny but I would have NEVER thought playing games would end up mainstream all those years ago when I was playing Tapper or Defender at the local pool hall. Now even my GF who takes one look at me playing Just Cause II and says "That's just TOO scary!" will give me "the look" and make me move over so she can play a little Frontierville or do one of her murder mystery games before getting ready for work. I'd say from the days of the smoky pool halls are dark arcades gaming has finally become an activity EVERYBODY does, young and old, males and females. Certainly has come a long way from the days of Dig Dug and other twitch games.

Why does all /. LAUGH @ Hairyfeet? See inside... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687298)

#1 - YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW THE DIFF. BETWEEN "static" and "dynamic" addressed adbanners, shown here (which even BestBuy techies know):

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35681060 [slashdot.org]


#2 - LMAO - YOU BLEW IT AGAIN, & on something ELSE even "Best Buy Techies" know, in DNS local client caches needing to be turned off in Windows with relatively "largish" HOSTS files:

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35686054 [slashdot.org]

Yes children - this is what "ITT Tech does for you", where "Pwuffesuh HaiwyPheet" here got his "FINE education" (LOL - NOT! (You're proof, living proof, it makes you a FUCKUP))!

OR, do the above links NOT show that much?

EVEN Funnier still??

#3 - You've trolled ME before in the past on HOSTS files, and made THAT same "blunder" before in the past:

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35686474 [slashdot.org]

And, tons more... like your "math" one!

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35667576 [slashdot.org]

From there downwards, you blew it totally, & with someone you stalk, troll, & libel in myself on HOSTS files posts, constantly!


P.S.=> So - DO YOU STILL WANT TO KEEP STALKING, TROLLING, and yes, EVEN LIBELLING ME (as you tried here http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35667932 [slashdot.org] and I shot you down cold, with facts here on that note -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35668740 [slashdot.org] )?

IF so, well - "it's YOUR funeral"... that's also FAR from the 1st time, & you blew it on the SAME damn points as before AND MANY MORE...

The "infamous they" & iirc, EINSTEIN even said:

"Repeating the same thing over & over & expecting different results is insanity" ...

Funniest part is, in that thread above and others you called ME, 'batshit-insane' (and you're no PHD in Psych):

"But if you weren't completely batshit insane" - by hairyfeet (841228) on Thursday March 31, @05:09AM (#35675892)

TELL You what, when you get these items:


1.) PHD in Psychiatry
2.) Years-to-decades of professional experience
3.) A license to practice
4.) A formal examination of myself in a profesional psychiatric environs


Then, maybe? You'd be credible, & not libelling me like you like to do, which is against the law.


Keep repeating from your mistakes shown above then some more, & tell us another good one + refer to EINSTEIN above... lol! apk

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (1)

mikael (484) | about 3 years ago | (#35688314)

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 gamers as well as needing the bucket-of-nickels to feed the machines. Not sure what the current prices are, but it seemed to be at least £1 or $1 for the first three minutes of any game.

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683896)

Yeah, apparently "heaven" is spelled a little bit differently now. :)

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about 3 years ago | (#35684218)

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.

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35686852)

Family Fun Center in Omaha, NE has (or maybe "had", I haven't been there in ages) a pretty decent stock of classic games as well. Last time I was there a huge part of the upstairs area was dedicated to them.

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687500)

Barcade is a dump with only early 80's games and more hipsters than you can shake a stick at. A vast selection of microbrews that you haven't heard of, with ill-fitting fedora hats and unkempt beards in every direction.

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (3, Insightful)

Temposs (787432) | about 3 years ago | (#35684372)

If you wanna see a real arcade museum, go to Musee Mecanique [museemechanique.org] 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!

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | about 3 years ago | (#35686590)

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)!

Re:Is that what Arcades have become? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688774)

Hell I'm wondering if I should be an exhibit.

I hate (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#35683882)

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

Re:I hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35683910)

I bet the Natural History Museum is a real bummer for you.

Re:I hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684284)

And you go so you can post about it on /.?

they should get some pinball games as well (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 3 years ago | (#35683950)

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

Re:they should get some pinball games as well (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684052)

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.

Re:they should get some pinball games as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684262)

Just about every pinball machine from 1980 onward had a digital controller with firmware, cpu, etc.

Re:they should get some pinball games as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684114)

Go to Alameda. See http://www.ujuju.com/

Re:they should get some pinball games as well (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684350)

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 only.

It's super exciting to find out now that just across the Bay we have one in the works! And this as I'm working on my first custom arcade cabinet build from scratch...my first use of power tools since middle school.

Re:they should get some pinball games as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35684870)

Too much competition across the bay


what's wrong with the san jose museum? (1)

MichaelKristopeit408 (2018816) | about 3 years ago | (#35684226)

san jose already has a great computer history museum... maybe the best.

Re:what's wrong with the san jose museum? (1)

socsoc (1116769) | about 3 years ago | (#35685934)

It is pretty bad ass. But it's not in san jose, it's mountain view and it doesn't focus on video games.

Re:what's wrong with the san jose museum? (1)

mikael (484) | about 3 years ago | (#35688332)

It used to be SGI's headquarters back in the 1990's - right next to the cineplex.

Berlin already has an incredible one. (3, Informative)

mikery1 (142621) | about 3 years ago | (#35684232)

The computerspielemuseum [computerspielemuseum.de].

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.

Why not at the real computer museum? (4, Insightful)

eggoeater (704775) | about 3 years ago | (#35684278)

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.

Computer Games Gallery at CHM (3, Informative)

Al Kossow (460144) | about 3 years ago | (#35684488)

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?


Re:Why not at the real computer museum? (1)

Animats (122034) | about 3 years ago | (#35684922)

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.

Re:Why not at the real computer museum? (1)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | about 3 years ago | (#35687124)

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.

Not just a novelty (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about 3 years ago | (#35684932)

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.

Donate now: Funds needed in the next 3 weeks! (1)

imakerobots (2031028) | about 3 years ago | (#35685090)

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: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/themade/the-museum-of-art-and-digital-entertainment [kickstarter.com]

Hiring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35685130)

Are they looking for a curator? I happen to be a 25 year expert in the video games field with lots of field work.

Good luck... (1)

pookemon (909195) | about 3 years ago | (#35685184)

My kids went to a party at a "Computer Museum" in Smythesdale, Victoria (Australia) [bigpondhosting.com]. (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.

Should not be in an earthquake zone (1)

assemblerex (1275164) | about 3 years ago | (#35685336)

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.

Re:Should not be in an earthquake zone (1)

socsoc (1116769) | about 3 years ago | (#35685954)

Earthquakes happen everywhere. Just like how California gets tornados.

This used to exist in SF (1)

olyar (591892) | about 3 years ago | (#35685744)

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?

Re:This used to exist in SF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35685780)

Thats the Mechanique - dedicated to old school mechanical fair games. Its now down by the Submarine at Fishermans Wharf.

This is a dream of mine (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | about 3 years ago | (#35685764)

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 lucky. And somehow it is still one of the best places to live.

Great Idea, wrong city (1)

joeflies (529536) | about 3 years ago | (#35685976)

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.

A bit fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35686082)

In one of the 1UP podcasts, Frank Cifaldi said that both he and Thierry Nguyen were put on the "advisory board" without ever being asked or agreeing to it. He also said he knew the person behind the project, so it's unlikely to be a scam or anything like that, but you still have to wonder about an organization that does something like that.

For those in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35686742)

Visit www.retrocomputermuseum.co.uk - 2 Day event coming in May for those in the UK who fancy a trip down memory lane.

Arcade legacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687850)

This isn't really a museum, but in Cincinnati there is a place that has a lot of the old video arcade and pinball games. For $10.00 you can play all day. Not a bad way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon with your son. At least I can beat him on many of the games, unlike the XBOX where he kicks my butt.

Sony Metreon (1)

brainee28 (772585) | about 3 years ago | (#35688448)

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.

There already is one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35697174)

Here is Rochester, NY.


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