Every museum on this list features excellent gaming elements and exhibits.
American Museum of Natural History
One the world’s great museums, the one featured in the “Night at the Museum” movie series, has a new app that brings you an augmented reality experience as you tour the many fascinating exhibits. Micro Rangers starts in the Hall of Biodiversity. Then, there are eight other missions to tackle as well – throughout the massive museum. When you’re done with that, think about spending a Night at the Museum – right under the life-sized, big blue whale. (Yes, you can do that.)
Peoria Riverfront Museum
Be The Astronaut is a traveling exhibit that allows you to captain missions to outer space. You’ll also pilot a lander on another planet and drive a rover on the planet’s surface, all using a familiar controller and a big, 70-inch monitor. You’ll enjoy all the bells and whistles in your cockpit – including state of the art game-like graphics. You’ll even travel to Jupiter.
National Museum of Play
If you’re passing through upstate New York, Rochester’s Museum of Play, the special Star Wars exhibit includes arcade games from a galaxy far, far away. Check out the Star Wars Battle Pod, too. But there’s a lot more here,from classic toys and games to a big arcade featuring the tops games in history, complete with a huge Tetris experience. There’s pinball, too!
Computer History Museum
San Francisco is the place where so many console games are made. But a trip to the Computer History Museum includes the legendary PDP-1. That’s the device that served as the platform for SpaceWar!, one of the first computer games. SpaceWar! inspired the classic Asteroids game and many other games we play today. Check out the awesome “First 2,000 Years of Computing” exhibit, too!
EMP Museum’s Indie Game Revolution
The Indie Game Revolution exhibition at Seattle’s EMPMuseum is sponsored by Nintendo, so you know it has to be good. Indie Games are often made by college students or recent grads who don’t really want to join a big game company. Here’s, you’ll learn the stories behind 20 of the best indie games around today. (But wait! Where’s Slither:io?) While there, check out the new Star Trek gallery, too.
National Videogame Museum
In Frisco, Texas, (a suburb of Dallas) this smallish, 10,000 square foot museum is chock full of 100,000 games and artifacts. It includes 20 exhibits, including a 1980’s-themed arcade and a Pong game you can play on a giant 15-foot screen. You’ll also see the rare Atari Mindlink controller, one of only two in the whole world!
–The Games Guru