Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 3.

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The Vanamo Online Game Museum is a free, digital archive of video game history made through high quality pictures and articles.

The Final Day!

Congratulations everyone, we've done it! In just the past few days this went from a struggling Kickstarter to a smashing success, and it's all because of you! I truly can't thank you guys enough.

Right now we're in the final 24 hours and it's the last chance to contribute. We've been breaking through stretch goals left and right, so we've only got a few more to go. If you guys can tweet or Facebook that this is the last chance to donate, that would be amazing. If not, then we've already accomplished so much together, and you have my gratitude for the effort you've given to make this a success.

Thanks again, everyone!

Stretch Goals

We can finally focus on stretch goals now!  The goals all go toward the galleries, so more funding just means more pictures.  If you haven't donated yet, take a look at the stretch goals and consider donating money. We're not done yet!

Creating an Archive of Video Game History

Today most people's hunt for information begins and ends with a Google search.  I want to create a video game museum that caters to this new information reality by making an online collection that can be freely visited by anyone, at any time, through a simple internet search.

The Vanamo Online Game Museum is an effort to create an archive of video game history with high-quality, high-resolution pictures with detailed descriptions.  The museum's photos will be in the public domain, making them free for anyone to use in other media, like articles and videos.  They will also be placed on Wikipedia, making them highly visible and readily available, along with vastly improving the quality of their associated articles.

The goal of this Kickstarter is to improve the quality of images and information about video game systems one finds on the internet.  The funds will go toward building a physical archive and collection of hardware that, in turn, becomes an online gallery of high quality pictures - a virtual museum.  After the pictures have been taken, I'll be working with the NYU Game Center and The International Center for the History of Electronic Games to help house and display the physical collection.

This Kickstarter greatly expands and completes work that I have already begun, which can be seen on my Video Game Wikimedia page.  I'm turning to your for help in expanding the reach and depth of my work, because I believe others can benefit from this work, and share my appreciation for a virtual video game collection of this quality and care.

Click to see an example of the resolution and quality of my images.  This image is also a Featured Image on Wikipedia and was Picture of the Day on July 7th, 2013
Click to see an example of the resolution and quality of my images. This image is also a Featured Image on Wikipedia and was Picture of the Day on July 7th, 2013

Museum Concept Gallery

These concepts show what can be accomplished with funding: a clean and simple site with in-depth information and free, hi-res media.

An easy-to-navigate, top-down design.
An easy-to-navigate, top-down design.
Each console page contains categories like: history, controllers, supplied components, accessories, technical info, media type and console variants.
Each console page contains categories like: history, controllers, supplied components, accessories, technical info, media type and console variants.
The final level: individual pages for console controllers, components and accessories
The final level: individual pages for console controllers, components and accessories

Why Help?

By participating in this Kickstarter, you are helping the Vanamo Online Game Museum accomplish four significant things:

  • Consolidating images of video game consoles and accessories into one comprehensive collection
  • Making new images easy to find through the reach of Wikipedia
  • Providing images for free, in a quality that enables reproduction in other media
  • If funding succeeds, Camera RAW files will be available for the first time through the Internet Archive.

Wikipedia is now an essential resource for many, but often its articles have low quality pictures or none at all.  This is because Wikipedia requires that photos uploaded to the site have a free license, basically meaning that the photographer gives up ownership rights to the photo.  This requirement deters almost all good photographers from contributing to WIkipedia, and keeps the overall quality of the photos on the site poor.  The photos from the museum will be in a free license.  I give up the rights to my photos so that they can be shared with the world, and improve the overall quality of the photos that are available to users.

The Internet Archive is very excited to be a partner in this project and help make it more expansive.
The Internet Archive is very excited to be a partner in this project and help make it more expansive.

The Challenge

Properly photographing all existing video game consoles and their accessories is a vast undertaking.  Video game hardware goes back to the '70s and there are over a hundred different consoles and handhelds to capture, some very rare and expensive.  Gathering and cataloging all of these items is both very costly and time consuming.

Product photography is a timely process due to cleaning and setting up the shot.  When I take pictures with collectors, I only have a small amount of time to photograph, meaning I have to focus on quick, basic shots.  Owning lets me spend time to create the comprehensive galleries I've been yearning to make.

This is the increase in output that funding will achieve.
This is the increase in output that funding will achieve.
A deconstruction photo made capable through owning
A deconstruction photo made capable through owning

The Solution - Create My Own Free Archive

The simplest and most obvious solution to this problem is to buy the objects I need to photograph.  I would become a curator to a collection of consoles and hardware that would, in turn, become a digital archive available freely on Wikimedia.  However, the cost of such a collection rapidly places it outside of my means, hence the need for Kickstarter.  Creating my own archive has many benefits.  Owning objects lets me take them apart, clean them and, most importantly, take the time to get the best possible picture.

The gallery I'd be able to make through this funding would be much more thorough and extensive than the existing one.  Funding would be a worthwhile investment: I already have the largest and most visible collection of console pictures on the internet; an improvement to my gallery will reach more people than any other gallery.  People come to my gallery when they need photos and need them with a license that they can easily use.  Also, many times the only good photos on the internet of older or rarer consoles are ones I've taken. 

Example of reward designs, designs not final
Example of reward designs, designs not final

Since my photos are free and high quality, they have been frequently used in magazines (Game Informer, Retro Gamer), newspapers, television shows (G4TV, The Colbert Report), YouTube (The Angry Video Game Nerd, Zero Punctuation, RetrowareTV), major blogs (Kotaku, Joystiq, IGN, GameTrailers, The Gameological Society, Wired, Slate, Gamasutra), textbooks and even by official sources like Mark Cerny (hardware designer of the PS4) when addressing Gamelab 2013 about the history of PS4 development.

A small collection of the many examples showing people/sites who rely on my images
A small collection of the many examples showing people/sites who rely on my images

There is no doubt about the reach, importance and visibility of these photos.  There is immense educational and historical value in having these consoles and hardware preserved in a digital state, in pictures that are clean and consistent.  This gallery will also continue to enrich the video game community by providing quality, free media to anyone to use in their own projects.

How Is The Money Used?

All funds from this Kickstarter will go toward one thing: video game hardware.  It will not be going toward photo equipment or software, only game consoles, controllers, hardware and accessories.

Money collected only goes to building an archive of hardware
Money collected only goes to building an archive of hardware


What Am I Looking To Buy?

A true 100% collection of game hardware is both extremely expensive and probably unattainable, mostly due to things like prototypes or very rare items.  In order to keep my Kickstarter grounded and attainable, I have placed priorities on certain areas of gaming.

The original $8,500 funding goal would go toward creating an almost-complete collection of Atari, Sega, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo consoles.  I picked these as the highest priority due to their popularity in my current galleries and on Wikipedia search results.  Since a true collection could reach into the tens of thousands of dollars, I have committed other areas to stretch goals.

Stretch Goals

The stretch goals of this Kickstarter are extremely important as they increase the size of the museum and the gallery.  Stretch goals are based on different brand collections, as outlined below.  The most exciting stretch goal is when it goes past $25,000, which means that I can start to get debug and developer consoles.  These are very limited release and generally not well documented, so putting these into a public information museum would be a great benefit to gaming history.

Stretch goals are the only way to make a more complete collection
Stretch goals are the only way to make a more complete collection

There is no real ceiling to the amount of money that can be used for this project.  The amount of items that could go into such a museum is vast, from color variants to prototypes, that even $100,000 or more could be all directly used for acquisition purposes.

$9,500 - Vintage consoles (including Magnavox Odyssey)

$10,500 - PC Engine/TurboGrafx consoles

$11,500 - Neo Geo consoles

$12,500 - 3DO & CDi consoles

$15,000 - Non-American releases (Playdia, FM Towns, etc.)

$20,000 - Misc. consoles and hardware

$25,000+ - Debug/developer consoles, prototypes and variants

What Becomes Of The Physical Archive?

Creating the physical archive is a necessity to create the media galleries, but what happens to it after that?  The last thing I want is such an archive to sit in storage, so I'm working with the NYU Game Centerand The International Center for the History of Electronic Games to help house and display parts of the collection.  These items collected for the museum will be available to students and the community.

       
    

Direct Hardware Donation

All of the funds of this Kickstarter are going to hardware, so any direct donation of hardware allows funds to go even farther.  I would accept anything hardware-based: consoles, add-ons, accessories or controllers.  This can be old or new items, as I'm building the collection from the ground up.  All I ask is that the item be in either good or decent cosmetic condition for photographing; items can be non-working.

Every hardware donation helps
Every hardware donation helps

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This project is generally low risk. Successful funding means the ability to buy hardware, and any hardware in my hands will turn into photos. This is work that I've already accomplished in the past, so I'm aware of the time and effort that goes into it.

There will be some challenge to acquire the items at the price point I have budgeted, but I have experience in being thrifty or getting good deals. There are a few rare items that might take longer to acquire than others, but I'm positive I'll be able to complete the console archive lists I have outlined.

Once the archive is created, picture taking will begin and will take a few weeks or months for all of the photos to be uploaded. Pictures will be uploaded as they're taken, so the turn around is much faster than most other projects. I'm confident in my ability to deliver on this as it's something that I have accomplished before, so my timetable is based on actual experience.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    FULL GALLERY ACCESS - Anyone who donates (or doesn't) gains full access to the online gallery. All pictures can be viewed and downloading. Downloads are full-size files that can be used for any purpose.

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    339 backers

    BACKERS BRICK - A tile with your name on the backers page of the website.

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    BEHIND THE SCENES - Access to a private blog entailing the creation of the museum and showing the process of taking and editing pictures.

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    159 backers

    MUSEUM PDF - A digital copy of the museum presented in PDF form. Each page focuses on a different console and can be printed to make your own book. (Plus all previous prizes)

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    7 backers

    POST CARD - A game-theme postcard with a handwritten thank you. (Plus all previous prizes)

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    4 backers

    STICKER SET - A personally-designed set of four vinyl stickers with a video game theme. (Plus all previous prizes)

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    14 backers

    MAGNET SET - A set of four magnets with a different design than the stickers. (Plus all previous prizes)

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    EMBROIDERED POLO - An embroidered polo shirt with a video game theme. (Plus all previous prizes)

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    1 backer

    THE SOURCE - DVDs containing the original camera RAW files, as well as the Photoshop PSD files used to make the gallery images. Only for images taken after the Kickstarter. (Plus all previous prizes)

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Funding period

- (26 days)