The digital art and entertainment museum will close its doors and store its merchandise

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The Oakland, Calif., Digital Art and Entertainment Museum (MADE) will close in its current location and move all of its assets to storage.

Alex Handy, the founder and director of MADE, said in an interview with GamesBeat that it no longer made sense for the museum to keep its site on Broadway Street, and he said the group could not come to an agreement with the landlord on the rent. during the pandemic. As a result, the nonprofit organization that runs the museum will move all of its items to less expensive storage.

“The goal right now is that we’re going to store everything, probably for a year or two until this stops,” Handy said. “At this point, the pandemic will not go away tomorrow, despite what everyone can hope for. “

The museum has been closed since March due to COVID-19, and it has no prospect of a reopening date. Fortunately, the museum has received enough donations over the years to pay for the storage of its wares. But he has a lot of things. I happened to take a trip to the museum on Wednesday to donate a bunch of video games and gear that I have accumulated over the years. It was my first trip to the place, and it contained a wealth of game treasures and memorabilia. Handy gave me what he said would probably be the last visit to the place.


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Above: Alex Handy is the curator of the MADE Museum of Video Games.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

In addition to offering video game history tours and selling old games, the museum has held free classes to train Oakland youth to make video games and possibly learn programming. and mathematics. The museum also regularly held game jams (sessions in which developers create games from scratch) and Super Smash Bros. tournaments.

Handy, a former tech reporter, started MADE in 2010 and eventually found a home for it in Oakland. The museum now has thousands of games on its shelves, and it features a variety of wacky video game accessories, like a billboard for the disastrous ET game.

Above: ET almost destroyed video games.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

MADE has had some great moments over the years. It obtained the source code for Habitat, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game launched in 1985 by Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar at LucasArts. The game was designed for the Quantum Link online service for the Commodore 64 computer. In 2016, MADE uploaded the source code to GitHub for open review, and Farmer and others (Stratus, Fujitsu, and America Online) did have relaunched as an online game called NeoHabitat. You can play it with an original Commodore 64 with a wireless card or an emulator in a browser.

This wall at MADE was autographed by tons of gaming pros at one of the GDC events.

Above: This wall of MADE was autographed by tons of gaming pros at one of the GDC events.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Handy also showed me autographed copies of games from pioneers like Chris Crawford, Marc Benioff (yes, the guy who became a billionaire when he started Salesforce) and Atari executives like Nolan Bushnell and Allan Alcorn. I laughed when I saw a big box that housed the controller for Steel Battalion, the Xbox game that lets you control a robot using a large controller with 44 entry points and two joysticks. It was the size of a refrigerator.

There were familiar arcade machines such as Pac-Man as well as the not-so-familiar Radbiker. There was a Rock Band corner with all the equipment and a few PC machines to play the myriad of PC games from eons ago. I spotted a copy of the A-10 Tank Killer PC game, a 1989 flight simulation game that taught me how to make a bootable floppy disk and provided me with hours of entertainment during the MS- days. BACK. There are such memorabilia in the museum for just about any video game fan, Handy said.

Above: Radbiker is a little scary.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Over the years, MADE’s sponsors have included Dolby, Google, GitHub, PlayStation, and Ubisoft. I was glad I got to see the place once, but sorry to see it disappear. He’s one more victim of the pandemic, but I hope someone will help the museum hold on to our story and bring it back in a form the public can one day see again.


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