The National Videogame Museum, in Frisco, Texas, states its mission as “preserving the history of the videogame industry by archiving not only the physical artifacts but also the information and stories behind its creation.”
Museum director and co-founder Sean Kelly says he started the museum with his partners from a sense of responsibility to preserve an era that was important to them. “We always wanted to have this stuff,” Kelly told Syfy Wire in a video interview. “Even back in the ‘80s when this stuff was just coming out, myself and both of my partners, we all saw it as something that was cool and something that really impacted our lives, so it was something that we wanted to preserve.”
The popularity of contemporary videogames and the strength of nostalgia for classic games make this seem obvious today, but that wasn’t the case when Kelly started collecting videogames and their memorabilia.
“That was at a time that nobody else thought that,” he said. “All the programmers back in the day thought it was all throwaway. They were convinced that videogames were going to be a fad in the ‘80s. We knew they weren’t going to be.
According to the Entertainment Software Association, consumers spent $36 billion on videogames worldwide in 2017 and added $11.7 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product in 2015. The industry employed 220,000 people in the U.S. in 2017, and they had an average salary of $97,000 at that time.
This information obviously confirms Kelly’s longtime view that videogames are not a passing fad. Be aware, if you're planning a visit, that the museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.