Today the Computer Game Museum (Computerspielemuseum) opened Berlin, Germany, offering 50 handheld games, video consoles, and home computers organized and exhibited in chronological order from 1971 up to 2001. The museum was open for a few years in the late 1990's but was shut down in 2000. The new museum is located where "Cafe Warsaw" used to be in an East Berlin-era building.
The exhibition called "Computer Games: Evolution of a Medium" chronicles the development of computer and video games since 1951, and includes the first ever arcade game called "Computer Space," released in 1971.
The museum is supported by German-born American Ralph Baer, who invented the Magnavox Odyssey console. Baer says that the exhibition is an important way of chronicling the history of games:
"Wouldn't you like to know who developed this fantastic game you're playing?" Baer said. "Who did the music? Who did the graphics? Who did the storyline? Kids are so used to fancy electronics. They walk around texting, and they walk around with their PSPs, and their this and that. And at home they've got a Wii or an Xbox, and they take it all for granted."
The exhibition also includes The Wall of Game Milestones, which includes over 50 of the top video games ever created including ping-pong, volleyball, football, shooting games, Pac-Man, Street Fighter II, Balance of Power and Sonic the Hedgehog.
The museum also details the impact of gaming on society - from social networking, to addiction and violence.