National VideoGame Museum Coming to Texas

September 28, 2014

After years of trying to find a home, the Videogame History Museum now has one: The Frisco, Texas Discovery Center, whose board has committed 10,400 square feet now and nearly $1 million to cover startup costs and construction of a larger facility to showcase its vast collection.

The board of the Frisco Community Development Corporation this week voted unanimously to approve the terms bringing the museum, founded by John Hardie, Sean Kelly and Joe Santulli, to the Discovery Center. The Museum will then be known as The National Videogame Museum.

Frisco is a part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.

The board also joined other travel and tourism authorities in donating $100,000 for startup costs, which the Museum founders have agreed to match.

By April, the Museum should begin kicking off a capital campaign to raise money for a much bigger facility. The National Videogame History Museum would likely approach major industry sources, such as console makers and large publishers, for donations to get construction started. Kelly told the development corporation board that the Museum already has $200,000 in matching funds to get the operation going in Texas.

The Museum's collection is immense; the Classic Gaming Expo it started in 1999 is easily filled up with the best pieces it holds, and it's only 7,000 square feet. The Videogame History Museum had no permanent home since its founding, but has had major presences at video game expos and conventions over the years. Much of its collection is in storage around the nation.

Hardie, Kelly and Santulli told the board they envision an educational mission for the National Videogame Museum, with exhibits on the science and development of games; the artwork and animation supporting them; and the popular, frequently iconic music they have made. As an example, they hope to stage a workshop that teaches people the building blocks of game development, resulting in their own version of Pong.

A 1980s-style arcade will also be planned for the Museum's startup, featuring as many of the cabinets as they can reasonably fit into its corner of the space. The rest of the collection will have to be rotated until a larger facility can be built.

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