National Videogame Museum

I recently got offered the opportunity to go to Texas for my day job. Having never visited Texas before — or, more specifically, Dallas, Texas — I leapt at the opportunity. Even though this was a work trip, it would allow me to not only see a new part of the country and all of what three days being there would have to offer, but to also get away from the lousy (at the time) November Minnesota weather. And although a majority of my time was spent actually working, when I caught wind that just a few miles away, Frisco was harboring the National Videogame Museum… well, I knew I had the rumblings of a stew going.

Tucked away in a heavily under-construction (at the time), burgeoning learning and experience center (replete with a train museum that was unfortunately closed during my visit), was the National Videogame Museum in all of its (admittedly small) glory. But don’t let the size fool you, this place is legit from the jump, as you are given a small fistful of tokens with your tickets, but more on that later. When you first enter the museum, you are met by a wall depicting the early consoles that, at the time, seemed like peripherals to a fast-passing fad.

National Videogame Museum

Although you can wander freely in any direction, the museum is structured with numbered stations. By following these stations, you get to see how the industry has changed and matured over the years. From those aforementioned early consoles — which were mostly just Pong clones — through the resurgence of the home market, to the early days of handhelds and attempts at VR, on up to the current-ish generation of console and PC gaming. This place really does run the gamut.

And it isn’t just a bunch of hardware on display to gawk at; there are quaint little sets designed to show what an average teenaged gaming enthusiast’s bedroom might have looked like in the ’80s, or what a Pong-loving household’s living room might have looked like in the ’70s. There are walls full of gaming-themed cereal and food items from over the years, as well as quirky, one-off themed consoles and memorabilia.

National Videogame Museum

There is even a station designed to resemble an old mom-and-pop video game store, the likes of which I used to frequent as a kid back in Madison, Wisconsin (namely, the Video Game Xchange).

Like I said, though, the museum is small, so although it is absolutely packed with gear from the dawn of time, it doesn’t take very long to make you way through each exhibit. Thankfully, once you’re done taking in the sites, as you exit the somewhat (though not completely) hands-off portion of the museum, you will find yourself in the arcade room. And even though this close-quarters room is tightly packed with maybe two dozen or so cabinets, it isn’t just the greatest hits you can find in any modern barcade.

Remember those tokens I mentioned earlier? This is where they come in handy.

National Videogame Museum

Even if it doesn’t serve as an actual standalone arcade option, the museum itself is definitely worth visiting if you are in the Frisco area, and the arcade certainly is a nice cherry on top. I only wish the T-shirts in the gift shop were more my speed, because I would certainly have gotten one. But I’m not someone who buys a shirt simply as a souvenir only to have it wind up in a drawer never to be worn — I like to rock my swag.

But that, my friends, is a conversation for another time.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x