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.