If you have ever wanted to revisit the very humble beginnings of the video game, we have the perfect way for you to spend an hour or two. Or in our case, three or four. Maybe it was five.
Have you ever thought about just how far we have come as a gamer society? I mean, really. To think we started off with the likes of Pong and now we have evolved to Mario roaming around New Donk City in Super Mario Odyssey. And now you have the chance to truly see and explore the progression and evolution of gaming when you visit the Retro Video Game Exhibit at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, New York.
The museum has been a favorite spot for Long Island families over the years, and this new exhibition is a welcome addition. Featuring video games from the ’70s through the ’90s, the exhibit brings back memories and evokes a yearning for a simpler time. What’s more, all of the video game systems are available to play on TV or arcade sets from the time period.
Just don’t be that guy. The one in the corner complaining about the simplicity of the “graphics, bro.”
I started with a little Pong, attempted an Atari, and geeked out over the classic Donkey Kong and Mortal Kombat arcade consoles. Next, I spent a good chunk of time in awe of the Super Mario wall. Decorated to look like a castle out of the original game, this wall featured titles from the classic NES system. We then made our way to the second room, where I had the biggest flash of déjà vu. The Sega Genesis was quite the underrated system. No one seems to remember this console when I bring it up, or even the fact that it had its own TV channel. Playing Sonic the Hedgehog brought back many memories for me. Dreamcast and Playstation were also available, but we would be lying if we pretended our main goal wasn’t to hit up some classic Nintendo 64.
The only con I can think of about the Retro Video Game Exhibit was the variety of game titles available. There weren’t many for the Nintendo 64 that I personally remember playing. Of course, they had Mario Kart and Goldeneye, the one game that my brother enjoyed destroying me at on a daily basis in my youth. However, Super Mario 64 – perhaps the face of the Nintendo 64 system – was not available, despite having a display on the wall. I checked with the cute bearded guy in the front, and he said they rotate the games every now and then to change things up. Makes sense, but I was looking forward to being that jerk who drops a penguin off an icy cliff.
With the exception of a few children who didn’t possess the attention span necessary to enjoy the exhibit, the crowd of people was actually really refreshing. Gamers of all ages came to enjoy the classic consoles, and they were all friendly and eager to chat and enjoy the day. Shout-out to the guy who was enjoying his time with Space Invaders. I really appreciated watching parents and grandparents bring children to the exhibit to see how it was “back in their day.”
The Retro Video Game Exhibit is available at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, New York. The $25 price tag includes full admission to the museum, which boasts an impressive planetarium and the 100-plus-year-old Nunley’s Carousel. A Frequent Flyer Card is available for return visits for only $10. The exhibit is open for unlimited play from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, as well as holidays and school breaks that fall on Mondays.
According to the website, a special membership is also available. For $99, you get unlimited access to the exhibit through December 2017. After your first visit, you can bring a friend for only $10. You will also get free access to upcoming exhibit-related lectures and any free play nights that may be added in the future.
We took some video of what you can expect at the Retro Video Game Exhibit. Post your thoughts below if you have been or are thinking about checking it out!
For more information about the Retro Video Game Exhibit, check out the official website.