Video games have always been a large piece of my life and as I have gotten older learning about the history of one of my biggest passions has become very interesting to me. So when I heard that there was a video game museum in Frisco, TX I knew I had to go. I got my wish and from the very moment, I stepped in I knew that this place was something special.
The National Video Game Museum officially opened its doors in 2016 according to an article published by D Magazine that same year. It sports 16 levels or “areas” that tell about the biggest moments in video game history. From the beginning with Pong to the video game crash in 1983 to just showing important elements of what makes video games what they are. This includes anything from sound to gameplay.
One of my favorite parts of the museum is the interactivity. I feel this is important for video games to not just read the history but also experience, it is a very video game thing to do. This starts the very moment you walk in and are greeted by a giant version of Pong that you can play. Some of my other favorites include the giant wall of every game console that has giant SNES controllers that you can use to look up information about each console. The portable room has almost every portable game system inside with a playable Gameboy (an old brick style that you can play) as well as other old-style games. Another includes an area with almost every early PC used to play games from an Apple 2 to my favorite (not to mention my first gaming PC): Commodore 64. Just like the game systems in the museum, you can play games on all of them. My wife spent most of her time playing Oregon Trail.
Some other highlights of the museum include the model rooms. They have two the first is a 70s-style room with shag carpet, wood walls, an old-style VHS player, and a playable Colecovision attached to an old school tv. The second is my favorite, it’s an 80-style bedroom that includes 80’s music blasting from a turntable, a Mario phone, and an original NES with Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt with a useable blaster. In the beginning, once you purchase your tickets you are given tokens that you can use in the actual arcade that they have at the end. Don’t worry if the tokens aren’t enough you can always purchase more.
My only critique about the museum is how small it is, there is so much history and aspects about video games that they aren’t able to cover because of the size. The museum’s founders themselves know this too, and according to a promo video they put up on their YouTube channel this is only the beginning as they have plans to expand. Regardless of the size you can easily spend half a day there depending on how long you want to play the games inside.
Video games have always been a big part of my life and not just learning about the history I was born into, but interacting with it, was something very special. So if you love video games as much as I do you have to visit this wonderful museum. I feel with more people visiting, The National Video Game Museum can become a special place for gamers of all ages to learn and interact with video game history.
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