A few weeks ago, my whole family took a trip into Northbridge to check out a Video Game and Console Museum called, The Nostalgia Box.
(Photo courtesy of The Nostalgia Box)
My kids – and husband – are a bunch of gaming freaks. Me? I just tolerate video games.
My husband is actually interested in video games on a slightly more intellectual level too; its history, cultural and social impacts, interactive design, blah blah… which has rubbed off a bit on the kids.
So before we left, I told the kids that this was NOT an excursion to a video game arcade. This was a museum, so I expected them to come away having learned something about the history of video games. (Haha I’m so hardcore.)
The place was split into two areas. One was the museum area, more like a historical-timeline walk-through, featuring old consoles and games, and lots of interesting bits of information about the history of video games. You can’t touch any of it though. Everything is behind glass in that section.
The other section was a games area, featuring a whole stack of retro games that you can actually play.
In the Museum Area, I made my 10 year old and 12 year old read ALL the little panels.
I should have quizzed them at the end :)
My 6 year old couldn’t keep up, so I had to paraphrase a few panels, then he skipped off and went to the next section.
I’d say that the museum section wasn’t suitable for little kids, other than to point and show them “these are some of the game consoles that mummy and daddy used to play with”.
Behold the very first commercially released home video game console!
It’s called the Magnavox Odyssey released in 1972. It had no graphics capabilities, just transparent overlays, and it also came with a dice, a deck of cards, play money and poker chips.
The team at The Nostalgia Box did a good job with all the research and information. I found it all to be really interesting!
Did you know that the origins of electronic video games lay in the design of early missile defence system of the 1940s?
There were LOTS of old consoles in amazing condition on display. I loved the ones made out of wood!
Then there were the consoles from the 80s… and I had to cringe, because I remember playing on some of those systems… and they are now in a MUSEUM??
We moved onto the next section, the Gaming Area, and I had a little PONG battle with my husband.
It was hilarious.
My kids had a great time playing all the retro games, like Pacman, Space Invaders, Super Mario Bros, Bubble Bobble, Sonic The Hedgehog and more.
Sure they can play these games online now, but there’s nothing like big chunky, plasticky controllers with big red buttons to take us back to the 80s.
I shed a little tear as I revisited my uppercuts with Ryu and was KO-ed by Ken.
What struck me the most was the MUSIC.
We listened to all that video game music for hours as a kid. Then what, after 20 something years, hearing one of those tunes again, my brain flipped a little switch and whoop there it is, embedded in my memory – who knows why – major head spinning flashback, hit me like a train, right in the feels, and filled me with such grand nostalgia.
We took funny photos with the props, looked at the cool retro gaming items to buy and chatted to the owner of the museum.
We must’ve spent about 1 – 1.5 hours there.
It was pretty cool!
I definitely recommend it to people who are interested in learning a bit about video game history, or wanting to revisit old favourites, and parents (with kids over 8) wanting to show their kids a different side of video games.
There are admission fees and family passes, check the website for more details!