E3 Gets Historical

Gamers Playing Atari at Classic Gaming Expo

The annual Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) is where video game companies have congregated since 1995 to show off their forthcoming gadgets and games to the press. It is a bombastic celebration of the latest and greatest, the newest and shiniest. Any attention to the past is, for the most part, uncomfortably out of place there.

Yet that is exactly the focus of the Classic Gaming Expo (CGE), which has returned to E3 this year after a three year absence, and used this years event as a platform to promte a more permanent effort. As reported by The Technologizer, CGE's principals (game enthusiasts John Hardie, Sean Kelly, and Joe Santulli) hope to launch a Videogame History Museum (VHM). Not much detail of their plans are visible yet on their website (other than their hopes to locate in Silicon Valley and a digital mock-up of an exhibit), but the premise is certainly intriguing. To have a centralized and well-maintained collection of artifacts and documents would certainly be a major boon to the history of video-gaming. Unlike its bigger brother, the Computer History Museum (CHM), however, VHM is still lacking the funds to make their vision happen. They have a board heavy with highly-respected videogame design talent but light on the really big bucks. Although the game industry is serious business, the number of individuals in it capable of dropping $15 million on a museum (as Bill and Melinda Gates did) is limited. That doesn't mean we should give up hope, though. After all, Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins might just be in the market for a tax-free donation!