Kickstarting the new year

It’s time to start things rolling in 2011. We have seen the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, and this is what we want to imitate. That facility has created a marvelous number of videogame exhibits, from allowing visitors to play Space War with Steve “Slug” Russell, to a gold-painted Pippin, the new Revolution exhibit is magnificent. Everyone should make an effort to attend this new, permanent exhibit. Below the fold, read what you can do to help us emulate the CHM.

Of course, the CHM is highly focused on all aspects of computer history. The MADE will offer playable versions of everything displayed, hopefully. We hope to exhibit the works that went into making a game, such as concept art and design documents, then contrast those with the finished game in playable, accessible form for attendees.

For The MADE, the year begins with, effectively, nothing. At least, on the balance sheet. What we do have, however, is the most important resource available: people. Members of our two boards (Directors and Advisory) have suggested that The MADE make an effort to appear at the Game Developers Conference this year, in San Francisco. And so we shall be there.

Alex Handy will be on hand at a round table discussion on the preservation of games, and Henry Lowood will be hosting the IGDA SIG on Preservation. We are also attempting to get a booth at the show. Cross your fingers!

Which bring us to the central question of the hour: What can you do to help?

First and foremost, we have three needs: We need money, we need a space, we need art, and we need digital storage and hosting.

Obviously, we need money. As a non-profit, 501c3 organization, The MADE will always need money. This will be a constant hurdle, and with your help, we can overcome it. In this coming year, we’ve set our goal for fund raising at $25,000. That should be enough to get a space and maintain it for at least a year, which is imperative if we are to begin collecting works for preservation.

Next, we need a space! A reliable, cheap space. We are fortunate in that, to begin with, videogame relics are relatively small. We can take the odd arcade machine, but mostly focusing on home consoles and computers at first will allow us to keep large collections of these much smaller items. Contrast this with the Computer History Museum, which holds giant machines that used to fill rooms for posterity.

We are fortunate in that regard: games are small. And even smaller still, is the code behind them.

Which brings us to the next item of necessity: digital storage. The Computer History Museum actually stores old code for posterity. We would like to do the same at The MADE. This will require a repository, solid backups, and public access to the code. It would be excellent if all this code could also be super-commented on some sort of social platform. So, you can help us with code.

Finally, you can help us with art. We need a logo, and an artistic theme! We need to design shirts and stickers and all sorts of other stuff we can give to people at conferences and at parties and such and so forth. Please! Make us some art!

If you want to help out, please join the mailing list we have set up. Say hello and let us know what you think you can do to help out. Or, maybe we can find something for you to do.

We appreciate any support you can offer. Let’s make 2011 the year this wonderful journey towards preserving our digital heritage begins.

Open Hours:
Weekends, 12PM-6PM
Gen. Adm: $5, Memberships Available