Visiting the National Video Game Museum in Texas

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    National Video Game Museum in Frisco, Texas

    National Video Game Museum Hand Painted Mural
    Keri Wilmot

    If you love video games, especially classic video games like Atari, and happen to be in the North Dallas Texas area, plan a visit for the entire family to the National Video Game Museum. The museum is located at the Frisco Discovery Center in Frisco, Texas.

    This interactive, hands-on museum is the only museum in North America that is dedicated to preserving the unique history of how video games were developed. The museum offers the public a way to not only view but sit down and play hundreds of...MORE video games using consoles from the past and the present. There are over 100,000 video consoles and 12,000 games that are in the museum's collection. The museum includes over 25 years of historical documents and rare artifacts. Visitors should expect to spend 3-4 hours during their time at the museum.

    Head to Head Hall, pictured in the photo, includes different video game consoles and games positioned in front of a beautiful hand-painted mural, which is a tribute to video game characters of past and present.

    Follow along on social media with the museum's hashtag #NVMUSA.

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  • 02 of 19

    Founders of the National Video Game Museum

    Founders of National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    Founders of the museum are video game collectors, Joe Santulli, Jon Hardie, and Sean Kelly. These long-term friends have been collecting artifacts and information about the video game history since the 1980's. They formed the Video Game Museum in 2009 and then began looking for a permanent home for their collection. The National Video Game Museum opened its doors inside the Frisco Discovery Center in April 2016.

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  • 03 of 19

    Timeline of Consoles

    Timeline of Consoles National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    When you enter the museum, first stop to take a family photo with Mario in front of the Timeline of Consoles. The timeline allows people to learn about and view 50 different video game consoles of past and present.

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    Pixel Dreams 1980's Arcade

    Arcade at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    Visitors to the museum receive 4 tokens to use inside the Pixel Dreams 1980's arcade with their admission fee. While listening to 1980's music, gamers of all ages will love playing iconic games like Burger Time, Asteroids, Centipede, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong Junior.

    Each game requires 1 token to play. Additional tokens can be purchased for .25$ each.

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  • 05 of 19

    1980's Living Room at the National Video Game Museum

    1980's Living Room at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    One of the highlights of the museum is sitting in the 1980's inspired living room and playing games with your children, in this case, a little father-son Burger Time. Parents will love sitting down with their children, sharing their own memories and creating new ones together.

    Playing video games in the past is like riding an old bicycle. You might be a little rusty at first, but when you step up your game, your kids will have a little bit of a learning curve in order to catch up to the...MORE competition. 

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    Life Size Version of Pong at Natioal Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    Don't let the size of this television fool you. It looks small in the picture, but you'll love having a chance to play Pong against a friend or family member on a giant 15-foot television replica from the 1970's!

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  • 07 of 19

    Video Game Museum Wall of Controllers

    Video Game Museum Wall of Controllers
    Keri Wilmot

    Do you remember all of the different types of controllers each video game system had? Reach out, touch, and push the buttons of dozens of different video game controllers for any video game system imaginable. 

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  • 08 of 19

    Birth of Online Gaming

    Birth of Online Gaming at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    Remember back to the dial-up modem days. Type in a command to take a photo and email it to a friend or family member at the terminal right next to it. Lights will blink showing kids how the message is sent to another computer. Make sure you pull the lever to listen to the familiar sound of the dial-up modem! 

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  • 09 of 19

    PC Gaming Options

    PC Gaming Options at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    What was your first PC video game system? Did you ever think you might be able to relive your childhood memories and actually play a pc game on a Coleco ADAM, IBM PC XT, TRS-80 COCO, Atari 800, Apple IIe or a Commodore 64? At the National Video Game Museum, there are many classic pc game setups visitors can actually play.

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  • 10 of 19

    Vintage Atari Store Display

    Vintage Atari Display National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    Were you an Atari fan? Kids and fans have been playing video games in stores for decades. Reminisce as you play real Atari games on a vintage Atari store display.  Take a trip down memory lane by remembering all of the games you used to own and play with friends or by yourself. 

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  • 11 of 19

    1980's Toy Store

    Mock Video Game Store at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    The National Video Game Museum includes a mock video game store. Do not just look inside, get behind the cash register, have your kids pick up one of the video games from the bin and pretend to buy one.

    One of my favorite things to do in the store area is to look for the actual price tags that remain on the games. Not only will you see stores that no longer exist, but the prices of the video games will shock you. 

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    1980's Bedroom at National Video Game Museum

    1980's bedroom at National Video Game Museum with Nintendo
    Keri Wilmot

    Hang out in the replica of a popular 1980's bedroom. Look for the vintage, 1980's memorabilia like the Members Only jacket folded at the end of the bed, the Mogwai on the nightstand, a VCR, lava lamp, Rubik's cube, Pac Man sheets and the Ferris Bueller's Day Off movie posters. Do not forget to have a seat at the desk and play a game of the Nintendo classic, Super Mario Brothers.

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    1980's Collectible Toys at National Video Game Museum

    1980s Toys at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    Not only can you play classic video games in the 1980's bedroom, but look around at the authentic 1980's toys and games. Pictionary, Dungeons and Dragons, ET, a Rubik's Cube and a boombox sit on the bookshelves.

    Do not neglect the shelves just beyond the bedroom before the arcade and see SEGA and ATARI Hot Wheels cars, Mario-Kart 64 die-cast cars, Pac-Man books, and Nintendo game figures.

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  • 14 of 19

    Video Game Prototypes

    Video Game Prototypes at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    Prototypes of early games are often sent to reviewers for feedback. The museum has a collection of game prototypes, some of which are rare games that were never even made and sold to consumers. This case is home to the Sega Neptune prototype. Aside from game prototypes, look around the museum for other prototypes, like the rare, never released pink, glittery Barbie edition Gameboy. 

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    Game Creator Area at National Video Game Museum

    Creator Area at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    As a tribute to kids and adults who like to invent, players can interact in the game creator area to play games such as Mario Paint and the current WiiU game favorite, Super Mario Maker. Minecraft fans will love a photo opportunity in front of the iconic Minecraft blocks.

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    Handheld Video Games at National Video Game Museum

    Handheld Video Games at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    Pull up a seat in the special handheld game section of the museum. Look inside the cases for handheld games that were your favorites. Pull up and seat and play classic handheld games like Pac-Man, Turtles, and Mrs. Pac-Man. The museum has many different games so you might find different games available during your trip.

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    Replica Office of Video Game Inventor Randy Pitchford from Gearbox

    Gearbox Office Inventor Mock-Up at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    Randy Pitchford is a video game inventor, the founder of Gearbox and an advisory board member at the National Video Game Museum. Popular games Randy has worked to create include Borderlands, Brothers in Arms, and Duke Nukem Forever.

    Visitors can see the replica of Randy Pitchford's Gearbox office.

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    "Easter Egg Games" at National Video Game Museum

    Easter Eggs at National Video Game Museum
    Keri Wilmot

    Video game fans love "cheats" and all sorts of special hidden tricks and tools. There are entire books and websites helping gamers find different accessories and shortcuts. Video game enthusiasts will enjoy searching the museum for secret items as well. 


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  • 19 of 19

    Planning a Visit To the National Video Game Museum?

    National Video Game Museum Lobby
    Keri Wilmot

    Visit the National Video Game Museum website in order to find out ticket prices and museum hours.

    As many of these exhibits include classic arcade and video games specific consoles available for play could change and vary upon the time of your visit. 

    Disclosure: The company provided free access to this service for review purposes. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.