About this project
The Videogame History Museum is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity dedicated to preserving, archiving, and documenting the history of the videogame industry. Our Board of Advisors is comprised of some of the biggest names in the history of gaming! More information on our goals and vision can be found at the Videogame History Museum website. All contributions are tax-deductible and an acknowledgement letter of your donation will be provided upon request. If you would like to donate after the kickstarter project is complete, you may do so by going directly to the donations page on our web-site.
The Videogame History Museum is the natural extension of the work started by John Hardie, Sean Kelly and Joe Santulli almost 25 years ago. Individually, each has always seen the importance of the videogame industry and took it upon himself to gather as much information and as many artifacts as possible. Collectively, they have amassed the most comprehensive collection of hardware, software, design documentation and memorabilia ever assembled.
Twenty years ago, the first issue of Digital Press was published at a time when desktop publishing was still something only an elite few could master. It was 1991 when Nintendo was firmly entrenched as king of the consoles and the word Atari was still a 4-letter word to many retailers and nothing more than a reminder of antiquated technology to the current generation of games. The mission of Digital Press was to bring GAMERS together. Editor Joe Santulli didn’t care what your favorite game console was or whether it was old or new. If you were a gamer who enjoyed reading about games or connecting with other game players or collectors, Digital Press was the place to be.
That same year, Sean Kelly launched the first BBS (which stands for Bulletin Board System for you young whipper snappers) dedicated to classic videogame enthusiasts on his Amiga computer. Long before there was an internet as we know it today, people would dial out on their computer modems into specific computers, often times with specific themes.
Jump ahead eight years to the summer of 1999 and John Hardie and Sean Kelly are in Las Vegas busy putting together the first trade show of its kind – Classic Gaming Expo. Videogame collecting isn’t quite mainstream, but collectors are starting to come together and Classic Gaming Expo '99 is set to be the largest gathering to date. Having absolutely zero experience organizing an event like this, the team managed to bring together over 1000 collectors, dozens of vendors and scores of present and former industry people to celebrate the roots of the electronic entertainment industry. A year later, Joe Santulli would come on board and together the trio would continue hosting Classic Gaming Expo for the next fourteen years – to this very day. To learn more about our work with Classic Gaming Expo, please visit the Classic Gaming Expo website.
The videogame industry is double the size of the music industry and while there are several music “halls of fame” and museums, there isn’t a single dedicated videogame museum. It’s time! The time has come to take steps towards creating a physical museum to honor and archive the history of the videogame industry and John Hardie, Sean Kelly and Joe Santulli are the right people to do it.
David Crane, one of the founders of the first third-party software publishing company (Activision), and the sole programmer of the original Pitfall and many others says:
“I have always wished you success in finding a permanent home for your collection, which I consider to be the most comprehensive repository of videogame collectibles and memorabilia in the world.”
Over the past twenty years we have:
- Located hundreds of former programmers, developers and publishers and archived their stories and development materials.
- Amassed the largest and most comprehensive collection of videogame hardware, software, documentation, information and memorabilia in the world. There are dozens of one-of-a-kind items in our collection and terabytes of archived data for which we own the only copies.
- Published the Digital Press Collector’s Guide which contains complete listings and descriptions of every game ever made for every console. The DP Guide has become the “blue book” of videogame collecting.
- Gathered together tens of thousands of collectors over the past fourteen years at Classic Gaming Expo.
- Honored dozens of former and present videogame industry people with our CGE Alumni Awards.
- Exhibited "The History of Videogames" at E3 for four years as well as presented gaming history and Game Developer Conference (GDC) and Penny Arcade Expo (PAX).
The museum we envision will be all-inclusive, comprehensive and interactive. Unlike some of the other efforts we’ve seen put forth which have a limited focus, our intention is to cover it all! Every game made for every system, every piece of promotional material made for each game, every revision of every console with specific notes as to the differences, the design progression, etc.. As it stands today, our collection is well on its way to achieving this goal, but there are holes that can only be filled by making more and more people aware of our archive.
With your help we can accomplish our goal of a physical museum location open to the public within the next eight years. Initially the funds raised through this Kickstarter project will be used to make our collection more mobile and give it a permanent home. Currently the bulk of our collection is in storage in Las Vegas where we have ready access to it as it goes on display each year at Classic Gaming Expo. A large portion of it is also stored in our homes in the Midwest and east coast. With a more suitable location in the Silicon Valley area, we would like to finally bring everything together under one roof.
Once we have everything in one location, the plan is to make it more mobile by purchasing trade show containers that will allow us to quickly, efficiently, and safely move our collection to the various events we have exhibited at. Our displays at E3 and GDC are somewhat limited by the fact that transporting our collection can be very difficult. Once we are more mobile, exhibits at these large industry events will be much easier to manage and will also allow us to setup displays at additional events such as PAX, DICE and even CES. In addition to these established events, we would like to host smaller weekend events of our own in various cities across the country to make our efforts known to an even larger audience.
Thanks for taking the time to read this pitch and watch our video. Everything you have read about above or watched in our video was done without any donations of any kind – ever. None of us has ever made a dime profit on any of these ventures…our wives will be only too happy to vouch for this. Only with your help will we be able to further our efforts to the next level!
John, Sean & Joe
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