Video Game Hall Of Fame To Open In Iowa?


Posted April 29, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson

Ottumwah, Iowa

I don't know about you, but when I think of video games, I think of Ottumwa, Iowa. The tiny town in the south of Iowa is the seat of Wapello County and the birthplace of both actor Tom Arnold and notorious rare-book thief Stephen Blumberg. It also might soon be the home of the Video Game Hall of Fame. See, Twin Galaxies, the video game officiating organization that keeps the records for old school gaming kings like Steve Wiebe, Billy Mitchell and "Machine Gun" Joe Piturbo* is located in Ottumwa. So the city has a history with gaming.

In 1982, Mayor Jerry Parker declared the town the "Video Game Capital of the World" and the town hosted the the first North American Video Olympics in the same year. (Remember the 1982 Video Olympics? When video Jesse Owens won the gold medal by defeating the video Nazis?) Today, the current mayor, city council, and representatives of the city's chamber of commerce will be meeting to discuss the museum, and hopefully will officially announce its existence soon.

As for what will be in the Video Game Hall of Fame, current Donkey Kong world-record holder Billy Mitchell said he'll donate the Donkey Kong machine on which he set the world record in 2007 to the place...but he'd better hurry. On June 2nd, Mitchell's arch-rival, Steve Wiebe, will attempt to break the Donkey Kong record live at E3, right here on G4, and what kind of Hall of Fame has memorabilia from the second best video game player?

I don't know about you, but I've always been fascinated with the state of Iowa. Why does it exist? What does it eat? Can people live there, or is it more like the moon or Saturn? All of these questions and more will be answered when I drive to Ottumwa and begin my long, lonely wait for the opening of the video game Hall of Fame. See you there!


*"Machine Gun" Joe Piturbo is not actually a video game player. That's the character Sylvester Stallone played in Death Race 2000.

Video Game Hall Of Fame To Open In Iowa?


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