The Ottumwa Time Capsule is being created by the global video gaming community to document the history of the video game industry as seen from the perspective of the common gamer. The Time Capsule will be buried in Ottumwa, Iowa during the 2012 Big Bang gaming festival — the annual event created to support the Induction Ceremonies for the International Video Game Hall of Fame.
Ottumwa has been chosen as the official place to bury The Time Capsule because of its unique legacy as the Video Game Capital of the World, long recognized as the “birthplace” of organized video game playing and a veritable “cultural crossroads” for the worldwide gaming industry.
The exact date and location in Ottumwa for burying The Ottumwa Time Capsule has not yet been decided, but the date for re-opening the Capsule has been set for Saturday, August 8, 2071 — a date that is expected to match up with Ottumwa’s summer Big Bang event for 2071. The re-opening of The Ottumwa Time Capsule will coincide with the celebrations to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the creation of the coin-operated arcade video game, which was first introduced to the world in 1971.
WE WERE THE FIRST GAMERS
When The Ottumwa Time Capsule is re-opened on August 8, 2071, the contents will immediately be donated to the International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum, which is now under development in Ottumwa, Iowa. It is expected that the relics found in The Ottumwa Time Capsule may be put in a special exhibit titled WE WERE THE FIRST GAMERS, which will study the early history of the video game era as told through the memoirs and oral histories that have been gathered from gamers from all over the world and placed in The Ottumwa Time Capsule.
The Ottumwa Time Capsule is being created at a time when the first generation of gamers are still alive and able to tell their stories. This generation was the first to embrace video game playing and turn it into the world’s largest entertainment industry, while establishing a worldwide gaming culture and a rapidly growing professional sport.
When the day finally arrives that The Ottumwa Time Capsule is re-opened, the population of the world will be between 17-25 billion people, and nearly 1/3 of them are expected to be gamers. And, at that future moment, we want the gamers of the future to remember who we were and know that we were the first gamers — the pioneers who created the worldwide gaming culture that they may already be taking for granted at that time.
So, on that future day when they re-open The Ottumwa Time Capsule, they will read our stories and marvel over the worries, the fears and the hopes we shared, as we wrestled with the historical transformations that led to the age of the video game.
And, as they view that future exhibit in the International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum in Ottumwa, we only ask that they remember us and know that we were the ones who created this great legacy that has been given to them as their inheritance.
So, remember us, for WE WERE THE FIRST GAMERS.
Miniature replicas of The Ottumwa Time Capsule are being taken on a national/international tour to give everybody the chance to be a part of this historical project. At each stop, group photographs will be taken that will be added to the contents of The Time Capsule at the time of its internment. In addition to photographs, the main contents to be placed within the Time Capsule will be personal memoirs and oral history published on archival materials. Plus, other surprising items of historical importance.
Everybody can and should participate in creating The Ottumwa Time Capsule. The project is being coordinated by Walter Day with assistance from staff members of Twin Galaxies, supporters of the IVGHOF and many well known gaming luminaries. For more information, contact Walter Day at [email protected]
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