I don't like video games. It's not that I dislike them, I just lost interest in them at some point as a teenager. Outside of of a couple of apps on my phone (do those count as video games?) I haven't given them much thought. But a recent trip to Frisco led to a stop at the National Videogame Museum and memories of joy sticking and button pushing came flooding back. So here's my Top 5 Picks of Things on Display at the National Videogame Museum:
5. Oregon Trail
There are plenty of older systems set up and ready to be played by museum visitors. The one that caught my eye was perennial Middle School time killer, "Oregon Trail." It took my right back to the days of tapping Y or N, buying dry goods and tack, and dying of dysentery. Good Times.
4. 1981 Journey at Reunion Arena Ticket Stub
This one might be a little bit of a cheat. There's a room in the museum that's made up like a kids bedroom in the 80s. There's lots of attention to detail including this ticket stub for a Journey concert on Nov 8, 1981 at Reunion Stadium. There's a lot of nostalgia in this tiny paper square. There's also some Rangers and Cowboys stuff on the wall.
3. Video Game Cereal
I remember a couple of these from childhood but some are more recent. Pac-Man Cereal and Nintendo Cereal are the ones that ended up in my bowl on Saturday mornings. I'm surprised that there's only been about half a dozen video game-based cereals so far, but sometimes it's the obvious tie-ins that are never quite so obvious.
2. Super Mario Movie Props
Nothing adds gravitas to a museum exhibit like a Certificate of Authenticity. And it turns these seemingly mundane plumber's tools into a museum-worthy exhibit. The 1993 movie was a critical and commercial failure and it's a little surprising to some of its props under glass but I guess this is definitely the right place to display them.
1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre Atari Game
If you think that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie might not be the most appropriate concept to base a kids' video game on, you're not alone. This was released in 1983 and since the player plays the part of Leatherface (with the goal of murdering as many tourists as possible), it was very controversial and sales reflected that. It has a cult following online but it's since it sold so poorly, it's an incredibly rare find. Loved seeing it on display.
There's a lot more to see at the museum, including an arcade stuffed with games (including the original Star Wars game that I used to play every year at the Fort Worth Livestock Show) so when you get the itch to pump some tokens into some retro consoles, head to Frisco.