Video Game Museum Seeks Kickstarter Funds, Again

In Oakland, California, an organization that operates a video game museum to preserve electronic gaming history is attempting to move to a safer, larger, building. The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) is an entirely non-profit organization and aims to use its game exhibits to help educate young minds about digital art and programming. To help fund this movement, MADE has started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project.

MADE originally formed in 2010, and launched a Kickstarter in 2011, which raised $21,000. With these funds, the organization was able to open the museum in a 2,107 sq ft area, and it has grown by over 1,000 additional sq ft. Although MADE has been able to keep the museum in operation, over the years it has faced difficulties with riots, fires, organized protests, and other disasters in the area, which have made running the museum difficult.

Since its founding, MADE has also been successful in expanding its exhibits to include over 5,000 cataloged items. The new additions have mostly come from donations, as the museum has faced financial difficulties preventing it from purchasing items to put on exhibit.

The items stored by MADE are made publicly available by researchers, developers, and fans. MADE also runs a class every Saturday in which it uses the exhibits to educate children, and has to date given over 400 children their first taste of computer programming. By the end of the class, every student has completed a game and can continue to learn more about programming from the museum.

On its Kickstarter page, the museum stated, "Common quotes from our kids include, 'Oh, that's why we learned about x y coordinates at school,' 'How do I make the cat shoot?' and 'How do I make gravity?'

The museum regularly runs a number of other events in order to attract visitors to it. MADE hosts weekly gaming tournaments, offers school tours, lectures, board game workshops, and musical acts.

The organization is now embarking on its second Kickstarter campaign, for numerous reasons. The growing number of exhibits the museum holds has started to expand beyond the museum's limited space, and the dangerous area in which it's located has long been a source of trouble for the organization.

The final straw that pushed the organization to move came in March of this year, when the 103-year-old ceiling in the classroom that MADE uses to teach students collapsed, destroying 18 computers and a projector, and disrupting classes for some time. Although companies have generously donated new computers to the museum for its classes, it was a clear sign that the time had come to move the museum to a safer environment and a more secure building.

MADE hopes that a new location will also attract new visitors to the museum. Its current location on the second floor of an old office building makes it difficult to advertise. Anyone wanting to visit the museum must be buzzed in by an electronic lock system too, which obstructs visitors from entering the building.

The organization has been investigating new locations, one being a 4,400 sq ft facility, but it will need significant financial assistance in order to afford the move. MADE has calculated a total cost of $50,000 in order to migrate into the new building and help pay the first few months of rent.

Currently, the organization has been able to raise just over $9,000 from its Kickstarter campaign, which will run for an additional 27 days.

Follow Michael Justin Allen Sexton @LordLao74. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • bollwerk
    What an amazing idea!
    I gotta go visit.
  • SirGCal
    Now... I love museums, and I love video games, but for the life of me I see almost no interest in going to a video game museum... What am I missing?
  • Verrin
    Now... I love museums, and I love video games, but for the life of me I see almost no interest in going to a video game museum... What am I missing?

    Are you seriously asking us that question? I don't think we have any more insight into how your mind works than you do.
  • IInuyasha74
    To be fair, this seems like one of those things you either look at and you love it or you just don't get it, but it actually isn't. Just about anyone who grew up with a game controller in their hand and has even the smallest spark of nostalgia for that time period will love the idea before they even finish reading the title.

    But, really it is about a lot more. Programming is actually an excellent career, and because kids love video games usually, and the museum teaches them basic game programming, it is really a gate way into higher education. They might take to the art side of it and decide they want to learn photoshop and graphic design, or they might decide they want to make programs for a living or android applications. There are several paths the children can take from there. It may not be a path for everyone, but I don't think anyone has ever said that the world has too many educational opportunities for youths. So if you don't get why someone would want to collect this stuff (which I have a small retro video game collection myself), you can probably see it from that point of view.
  • mudpuppet
    Now... I love museums, and I love video games, but for the life of me I see almost no interest in going to a video game museum... What am I missing?

    There's a lot out there to take interest in. What does the evolution of console gaming look like starting with commodore and going up to the Wii U? Street Fighter is a gaming series that has been around for AGES, not just as a console, but as an arcade game. How has the game evolved over the last 20 years, graphically as well as the game play? Where does computer gaming fit in? How does Mobil gaming fit in and is it that different than the old hand held games you'd get from an end cap at a gas station where Batman would jump from roof top to roof top and throw a batarang at bad guys? There's a ton of information and history out there. Partner that with the ability to hold classes on programming and you have something that any young kid could get excited about, and something their parents would probably get a kick out of (revisiting the "good ol' days").
  • quilciri
    What am I missing?

    Curiosity? Nostalgia? A Thirst for Knowledge?

    (J/K) :)
  • cats_Paw
    This is rather dumb.
    If you buy a PC now, you could probably fit 100% of the games that were created till 2000 on it assuming you get a decent storage capacity. Everyone who wants can create their own museaum: Just dont throw away your old computers and make a backup or two.