Those who follow me may know about my support for the International Video Game Hall of Fame and Museum, or IVGHOF for short, in Ottumwa, Iowa. Some reader may ask, “Why Iowa?” But if you look at the Ottumwa’s past in how it formed video game culture, you will see why this makes sense.
In the 1980’s Ottumwa hosted a few key events that helped bring video games into positive light in a time where video games were deemed counter-culture. It’s was where Walter Day founded Twin Galaxies Arcade, where he kept track of World Record scores. The town was first to host a video game competition via the show “That’s Incredible”, happening before, Video Power, Nick Arcade, Major League Gaming, World Cyber Games. And of course there was the Life Magazine photo shoot. What happened in Ottumwa helped fueled the video game craze and may have made a gamer or two a celebrity for at least a day.
Some might say that another city such as Seattle or Tokyo should have a video game hall of fame. I even been hear people say it belongs in Korea because of the whole eSports thing. But a hall of fame is usually set in the place of origin for whatever that hall of fame is being built for rather than what’s poppin’ at the time. Just imagine if the baseball hall of fame was in the Bronx instead of Cooperstown just because the Yankees win a lot, and this is coming from a Yankees fan. Although you can’t say video games were invented in Ottumwa, you can to say that the town did more than its fair share the help video games go mainstream.