8 Places to Experience Video Game History IRL - Atlas Obscura Lists

8 Places to Experience Video Game History IRL

From monuments and museums to a literal landfill.

Video games straddle the line between fantasy and reality. No other media allows a spectator to become the main character and explore every inch of a world. 

Narratives about digital heroes and plumbers have made a permanent impression on global pop culture, so it’s only natural that there are real-world, physical monuments to games and their creators. 

These include museums and more oddball tributes to the art. A glorious seaside monolith in Iceland commemorates the 10-year anniversary of one of the largest, most complex multiplayer online role-playing games. New Hampshire, which proudly proclaims itself the birthplace of the video game, is home to a humble bronze statue that lauds the man who invented the modern version. It also boasts the world’s largest classic arcade, with hundreds of machines lovingly preserved for nostalgic players.

The very opposite of a monument is the landfill in a New Mexico desert where Atari buried the copies of their greatest game failure. Whether trashed or treasured, these eight tributes to video game history are worth logging off for. 

Editor’s note: Visit each place’s website or social media to get the latest information on openings, closures, and how to support them. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.