Thursday, December 18, 2008

Closed Until January

As the semester has come to a close, the Comptuer & Video Game Archive will be closed for the intersession. We will open again at Noon on Monday, January 5.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Intellivision Games

I bought a lot of Intellivision games off of eBay for the archive, which were complete in boxes with instruction booklets and overlays:

Intellivision Games

Intellivision Games

Friday, December 5, 2008


We received a donation this week of a TI-99/4A computer along with a case full of games. They all work great (except for the fact that the computer keyboard is missing the 'H' key!):


TI-99/4A Games

TI-99/4A Games

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Grand Opening Photos

Yesterday was our Grand Opening Event. Food was eaten and games were played. Here are a few photos:

CVGA Grand Opening

CVGA Grand Opening

CVGA Grand Opening

CVGA Grand Opening

CVGA Grand Opening

Pac-Man Cookies

CVGA Grand Opening - Food

Blackbird, Fly!

Yesterday morning we got our HP Blackbird 002 set-up in the game room (just in time for the Grand Opening!) Here are a couple of pictures:

HP Blackbird 002 Gaming Rig

HP Blackbird 002 Gaming Rig

Friday, November 14, 2008

Class Field Trip

Professor Brad Bushman teaches a senior-level course on video games here at the University (crosslisted in Communication Studies & Psychology). Yesterday afternoon the class took a field trip to the Computer & Video Game Archive to play a bunch of games. The most popular games were Guitar Hero World Tour and MarioKart Wii; also popular were Mario Party, Halo 3, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Super Mario Bros.

Here are a few pictures:

Students Playing Video Games

Students Playing Video Games

Students Playing Video Games

Students Playing Video Games

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


One of our graduate students, Meredith Kahn, put together an exhibit of computer and video game items for the display cases in the basement of the Duderstadt Center. (The items are are mostly non-working or currently unused games; boxes/packaging; and books.)

Here are some pictures (sorry about the glare!) or drop by the basement of the library sometime in the next couple of weeks and take a look:

Computer & Video Game Exhibit

Computer & Video Game Exhibit

Computer & Video Game Exhibit

Commodore Vic20 - Computer & Video Game Exhibit

Computer & Video Game Exhibit

Nintendo GameBoys - Computer & Video Game Exhibit

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Inside an NES

Yesterday I cracked open one of our Nintendo Entertainment Systems to replace the pin connector which had gone bad. I was successful, so now we have two working NESes (and also an NES clone).

While I was inside, I snapped a couple of pictures:

Inside an NES

Inside an NES


We finally got our logo sign up on the window of the archive:

Computer & Video Game Archive Sign

Computer & Video Game Archive Sign

Monday, November 10, 2008


There's an interview with me regarding the Comptuer & Video Game Archive over at The Video Game Librarian blog. Thanks to John Scalzo for his excellent interview!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Technical Problems

Oh the joys of running a usable archive! Some of the technical difficulties we've run into over the last couple of weeks:

* As mentioned earlier, our Atari Flashback 2 just stopped working. There's a complete lack of status indicators on the unit, so no telling what the problem is... I'll order a replacement and hope it lasts longer than a few weeks. (At least we get a couple of usable Atari joysticks out of the deal!)

* While testing out donated games, the refurbished NES we bought off eBay stopped loading games, instead giving us a yellow screen of doom with everything. From what I've been able to gather this means that the pins are probably damaged--likely by one of the games we were testing--so I'll look into replacing that component. We still have an older (and more finicky) NES that was donated. I'm also thinking of getting a Famiclone to have around.

* Grand Theft Auto IV won't load up at all in our new Xbox 360 Pro, but loads and plays just fine in out Xbox 360 Elite. Anyone ever encounter this?

* Our new copy of NCAA Football 09 for Xbox 360 suddenly developed a nice carved ring on the surface of the disk, and thus won't load or play. Nobody recalls this happening, but it must have been one of the units. We haven't had any further problems with games getting carved up, so I'm not worrying for the time being...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Scenes from a Moment in the Archive

I'm taking a rare stint right now as the monitor in the Game Archive (typically it is staffed by student workers). Right now we've got:

* A person playing Assassin's Creed on the PS3 on the large screen

* A person playing Bioshock on the Xbox 360

* Someone playing Fable on the Xbox

* Two guys playing FIFA Soccer on the Gamecube

* A group playing Duck Hunt on the NES.

Have I mentioned that Duck Hunt is one of our most popular games?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flashback 2

The first casualty of our video game archive was our Atari Flashback 2. It just up and stopped working one day a couple of weeks ago. I plan to purchase a replacement, but first I figured I'd put my long-neglected electrical engineering degree to use to see if I could find something obviously wrong (like perhaps a loose wire connection). I didn't find anything, but did snap some photos of the insides:

Atari Flashback 2 Innards

Atari Flashback 2 Innards

Atari Flashback 2 Innards

Monday, October 20, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, the fine folks at the Computer Aided Engineering Network (CAEN) gave us a Battlezone mini-cabinet for the archive. As you can see, it fit in just perfectly near the back door!



Monday, October 13, 2008

Expanded Preview Hours

We've expanded our preview hours in the Gaming Archive to Mon - Fri, Noon - 8pm.

We've also set our Grand Opening date for Monday, November 17; there will be an event from 3:30 - 6pm that day, with remarks at 4:15.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Fun: Snack or Die

At the blog Snack or Die, Jocelyn shows how to make cookies (and other desserts) designed after your favorite video game characters. It's yummy fun!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Student Paper Article

Despite our having done hardly any publicity, the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, found out about the video game archive and sent a reporter to do a story: "Library opens video game archive."

Only one notable error that I noticed: I was quoted as saying that we could buy about a dozen new games per month, if we don't buy any equipment. That's not right; the annual budget includes about a dozen new games per month, plus some older games, plus new and replacement equipment. Less major, although we were budgeted a certain amount of start-up funds, we haven't yet spent all of it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What We Have

Here's a list of the hardware that we have so far:

  • Atari 2600 Jr.
  • Mattel Intellivision
  • Sega Master System
  • Sega Genesis
  • Sega Saturn
  • Sega Dreamcast
  • Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Nintendo Super Entertainment System
  • Nintendo 64
  • Nintendo GameCube
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Microsoft Xbox
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 (Elite)
  • Sony PlayStation
  • Sony PlayStation 2
  • Sony PlayStation 3
  • TurboGrafx 16
  • Vtech V-Motion Active Learning System
  • Commodore Vic20
  • Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer
  • Tandy Color Computer 3
  • Nintendo Game Boy
  • Nintendo Game Boy Color
  • Nintendo DS
  • Sony PlayStation Portable
  • Leapfrog Leapster2
  • Atari Flashback 2
  • Atari Paddle with Games
  • Dreamgear 101 Games
  • My Arcade Turbo GT Wheel with 50 Games
  • Coleco Head-to-Head
  • Tetris plug-n-play
  • Sony KDL-46S4100 46" LCD TV
  • Samsung 20" Ultra SlimFit SDTV (2)
  • Sony Bravia KDL-26M4000 26" LCD TV
  • Logitech Extreme PC Gaming Headset (4)
  • Creative Fatal1ty Gaming Headset (2)
  • Sennheiser RS120 Wireless RF Headphones (2)

The one major piece of equipment that has been ordered but hasn't arrived yet is an HP Blackbird 002, for computer gaming.

The best way to see which games we have available is to consult Mirlyn, by doing a command search on:
( WSU= computer games OR WSU= video games ) and WSL= AAEL and WCO= GAME
(Although there are plenty more games still 'in process' that aren't yet in Mirlyn.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

We're Open!

We opened for the first time this afternoon!

Here's our impromptu sign:


Students watching and playing Assassin's Creed on the PS3:


A student playing the PS2:


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Moving In

We've started moving things into the game archive room, in the anticipation of opening up next week. Here are a few photos:







More to come!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Every Teen Plays Video Games (almost)

I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but an AP article summarizes a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project that says that 97% of all American teenagers play video games.

The study looks at teens' video game habits, as well as the effect that game playing has on their civil engagement.

Look for this report to get a lot of traction in the coming days & week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Opening Soon?

Assuming that nothing surprising happens (knock on wood...) I hope that we'll be able to open the Computer & Video Game Archive by the end of September. It will be a soft open, for a few hours on weekday afternoons as we get used to things and figure out how to run the place. We'll no doubt expand hours as we go along, and plan on having a Grand Opening Extravataganza sometime in mid-November.

Nintendo Donations

Got a nice box of donations this morning, full of Nintendo stuff:

Nintendo 64, with controllers & games:
Nintendo 64

Nintendo Game Boy & Game Boy Color with games:
Nintendo Game Boys

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Wall is Up!

The wall for our Computer & Video Game Archive room was installed yesterday afternoon. Here are a few pictures:

Exterior view (from the hallway):

Computer & Video Game Archive - Exterior view

Computer & Video Game Archive - Exterior view

Interior view (looking out towards the hallway):

Computer & Video Game Archive - Interior view

Computer & Video Game Archive - Interior view

So now we are waiting for the door to be keyed (should happen this week), and for the equipment we've requested to be ordered to arrive. Then we'll be ready to open.