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Non-Profit Raising Funds For San Francisco Video Game Museum

Non-Profit Raising Funds For San Francisco Video Game Museum

February 16, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

February 16, 2011 | By Eric Caoili
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More: Console/PC

The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE), a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of video games and the presentation of games as art, is raising money to create a small starter museum location in the San Francisco Bay Area.

MADE's planned location will host its existing collection of works, and feature rare game prototypes, concept art from the creation of games, and playable examples of historic and artist works in the medium of video games.

It is also hoping to serve as a meeting place and venue for local community events (e.g. demo scene events, artist talks, LAN parties).

The non-profit hopes to raise $20,000 through donation-based funding platform Kickstarter in the next two months, which will all go toward paying rent and utilities for a sub-1000 sq. ft. space near BART for six months to a year. It emphasizes that the funds will not go toward buying "anything frivolous like big TVs and projectors".

MADE has already received pledges for more than 20 percent of its goal, and the group seeks to pull in more backers by offering incentives like tickets to the museum when it opens, t-shirts, new PC games donated by Kalypso Media, a boxed copy of Pathways Into Darkness signed by Bungie founder Alexander Seropian, and more.

To promote the project, MADE will have a booth (#2040) at next month's Game Developers Conference, donated by GDC 2011 organizers, where the non-profit will feature its first exhibit: procedurally generated content. Visitors will be able to play Dungeons and Dragons for Intellivision, Bomberman for NES, ToeJam & Earl for Genesis, Spelunky for PC, and Dwarf Fortress.

The group will also sell limited edition T-shirts and stickers that are meant to "evolve every year to match the evolution of video games" -- this year's set features all green line art. It expects to print up a massive Game Development flow-chart, in which attendees can sign their names next to studios they've worked at, too.

MADE was founded by video game journalist and "technological archaeologist" Alex Handy last year, and has an advisory board that includes Brandon Sheffield, Frank Cifaldi, Jason Whong, Andrew Jimanez, Chris Baker, Chris Kohler, Simon Carless, Peter Cohen, Wil O'Neal, George Jones, Darren Gladstone, Thierry "Scooter" Nguyen, and Sellam A. Ismail.

"There are already world-class videogame museums in New York, Germany, and Italy. It's time we got started building such an establishment here, in the San Francisco Bay Area," said director Alex Handy. "Despite the claims of some, videogames are undeniably art."

He adds, "We are dedicated to showing the reality of game development. We want to showcase the artists and designers who create games, and explain the processes behind their creation in a manner the general public can understand."

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