Sometimes, a delay is a good thing.
Wednesday’s final appointment was with Activision at 4, but the way everything had been scheduled, my date with Destiny ended up happening an hour later, leaving some time to explore the far reaches of the hall. Here is where most of the smaller vendors set up shop, lots of PC component makers are out here. The show floor resembles your average corporate expo back here. Until you come across buried treasure.
The Videogame History Museum is less a stodgy, marble building in a major city that too many folks ignore, but the collective efforts of founders John Hardie, Sean Kelly, and Joe Santulli to collect and preserve gaming history, and display their findings whenever and wherever duty calls. What started as a couple of guys obsessed with collecting old games is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization traveling the country bringing gamers old and new back to their roots whenever needed. We’ll be here all day if I were to show the vast expanse of stuff they had laid out in their little area, but this being the calmer, news-less weekend, I figured now would be the time to show off the highlights in a gallery, and bring some of you folks back to hallowed digital antiquity and smile as much as I did.
I imagined a lot more sticky pictures of Farrah Fawcett, but according to a couple folks I spoke to, yep, this is every 70’s nerd’s living room.
Note the “Pac-Man Lover” sticker with the sketchy Pac-Man giving the Missus a once over. Rule 34 is NOT NEW.
It’s always important to remember that as big as these guys are now, it’s NOTHING compared to where they were when the Atari was out. And that’s with a lot more varied titles than the current annual Call of Duty cashgrab shenanigans.
Note the fuckawful Ghostbusters NES game hanging out in there. Yes. Activision was responsible. DJ Hero doesn’t look so damn bad now, does it?
RESPECT AND HONOR.
…yes, the Dreamcast. I knew one dude with a 3DO when I was a teenager. It took three months to stop asking him “But…WHY?”
Then again, I owned a Sega CD. What do I know?
RED TINTED HEADACHES FOR EVERYONE.
Worth noting though, not counting the limited-run N64 Disk Drive in Japan, this is Nintendo’s ONLY commercial console failure since 1985. NOBODY has that track record.
Now that we have our look at the next gen, I can say this: I’m gonna miss multi-colored variants.
So, yeah, apparently Sharp had a Famicom/Famicom Disk System combo. And yeah, this probably worked better than the American NES too.
This one holds a place in my heart. It was the first true attempt at online multiplayer for consoles. At the time, it was snazzy as hell: You snapped on a game (Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Madden, etc), it dialed out like AOL, and matched you with a random player. You could even text chat afterward. I don’t remember it as much for this. I remember it because it was my first encounter with the internet, and after a month of getting the same 6 dudes as matches, I turned off local only, and month 2 with the service resulted in a $662 phone bill. Take that story with you next time you go pay Time Warner or Comcast $100+ for unlimited internet, kids.
YES, someone DID put a quarter up there. Of course they did.
Title’s whited out, but this was the cabinet for Street Fighter II Turbo. This pic was as far back as I could get while still capturing the cabinet, but there’s a good 8 or 9 guys waiting in a circle here like it’s Fight Club. Pity the generation that will never know arcades.
Restoration/Collection projects like this are starting to pick up steam–my current hometown of Rochester has an ongoing classic video gaming exhibit at the Strong Museum of Play, in fact–and with the industry taking the next giant leap forward into pure digital, they’re becoming increasingly important. Hit them up at VGHMuseum.org to see where they’re going next, and donate. If you know some dude with an Atari Lynx, an unopened copy of Tengen’s Tetris port, or a Neo Geo CD just hanging out somewhere, here’s your chance to play Indiana Jones and tell them, honestly, that it belongs in a museum.
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