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The Video Game Capital of the World
August 7, 2010 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Ottumwa, Iowa has declared itself home to the International Video Game Hall of Fame and Museum. Where the town will obtain the money for the museum building and collection is currently an open question, but Ottumwa, home of Twin Galaxies (previously: 1, 2), the "official scorekeeper for the world of video game & pinball playing," is no stranger to stepping up to fill a void in the world of electronic gaming.

Twin Galaxies got its start as an arcade owned by Walter Day, who became the referee for competitive video gaming through the simple expedient of posting a scoreboard in the arcade and sharing his contact details with video game companies, arcades, and gamers. This quickly led to sponsoring competitions, the latest of which, Big Bang 2010, is currently underway.

Meanwhile, the man who started it all announced his retirement from Twin Galaxies earlier this year. The subject of at least one tribute song himself, he plans to pursue a music career.
posted by EvaDestruction (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Radar O'deilly was from Ottumwa.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:20 PM on August 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


O'Reilly, dammit.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:20 PM on August 7, 2010


As was Radar O'Reilly.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:21 PM on August 7, 2010


Local coverage.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:28 PM on August 7, 2010


Video games, AND gay marriage? Oh, there really is nothing halfway about the Iowa way to treat you! (When they treat you, which they may not do at all.)
posted by hippybear at 12:41 PM on August 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Iowans just don't judge. Whether you're gay or you have that childish habit of playing video games.

They're pretty friendly, too.
posted by erstwhile at 1:02 PM on August 7, 2010


If you haven't seen the documentary "The King Of Kong", i suggest you do so. It is hilarious, true, and much of it will give you some insight into this (It's streaming for free on Netflix right now).
posted by highgene at 2:59 PM on August 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you haven't seen the documentary "The King Of Kong", i suggest you do so. It is hilarious, true ...

Well, sort of true. Highly dramatized.
posted by starman at 3:14 PM on August 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Loose meat.
posted by zerobyproxy at 3:35 PM on August 7, 2010


Ottumwa is also just down the road from Riverside, the future birthplace of Captain Kirk.
posted by webhund at 4:02 PM on August 7, 2010


Hmm, I think video games have changed a lot in the past, 8 or 9 years. Nowadays it's all about online play and 'achievements' and of course extra addons to soak people for money. I get that they can make games more fun, but it's also kind of annoying. it's no longer a simple thing, you no longer have arcades and "high scores"

And then there are all these "social" games which are blatantly about getting people to pay for upgrades and items. Obviously the goal of a game design company, especially a large one is to make money, whether you have fun or not. So if they have to do something to make cash that impacts your ability to have fun, they'll obviously do it.

I was in a local airport recently, we're talking about one big room for boarding with about 4 or 5 gates. They had this old arcade with a bunch of classic games with some of the old CRT screens turning green.

---

Anyway, it could have been pretty cool if we'd had internet connected arcade machines. You could have your own profile and high scores could be tabulated regionally and kept globally. And you could, for example, play street-fighter against anyone in the world. It would have been pretty badass. Of course PC, Cellphone and console games do that now, but still.
posted by delmoi at 4:16 PM on August 7, 2010


If you haven't seen the documentary "The King Of Kong", i suggest you do so. It is hilarious, true ...

Well, sort of true. Highly dramatized.


Wiebe lied Donkey Kong died
posted by hamida2242 at 5:17 PM on August 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, Starcraft 2 tournaments are rewarding $85,000 1st place prizes monthly starting next year.
posted by empath at 6:18 PM on August 7, 2010


Yes, there's a lot of fabrication in The King of Kong. But:

From what I understand, Billy Mitchell has been considerably less vocal about the film than the people running to his defense. I assume the movie has had a positive impact on his speaking engagements and barbecue sauce sales. He's a big enough man to accept the bad-guy role.

To balance out Kong, check out Chasing Ghosts. It shows a much more complicated version of Mitchell. There's also a lot more of Walter Day in it.
posted by roll truck roll at 6:29 PM on August 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


AV club has a interview with Billy Mitchell and the film makers that is insightful.
posted by Locobot at 11:16 PM on August 7, 2010


Nowadays it's all about online play and 'achievements' and of course extra addons to soak people for money.

I remember back then when it used to be all about inserting another quarter for another two lives, or making the bad guys run around the screen faster, or putting a column of magnets between the flippers to pull the pinball out, in order to soak people for money. I think we've always been soaked for money, but it's almost always been fun.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:23 PM on August 7, 2010


I would travel to Ottumwa, Iowa just to see an international video game museum.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 9:15 AM on August 8, 2010


Iowans just don't judge. Whether you're gay or you have that childish habit of playing video games.

They're pretty friendly, too.


Allow me to introduce you to Steve King
posted by TrialByMedia at 12:00 PM on August 8, 2010


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