Collectors, archivists, whatever you wish to call them, Joe Santulli, Sean Kelly and John Hardie have a collection of video gaming history numbering greater than 30,000 pieces, and are trying to establish a West Coast operation to house all of it, and from which a touring show will originate. They're serious men with a serious goal, and seriously in need of cash.
With 10 days to go on their Kickstarter fund drive, the provisional Videogame History Museum is $10,000 short of its initial funding target of $30,000. That's better than where things stood on Friday, when they were less than half of the way there. A profile on Gamasutra evidently helped things along.
But they still need to average about $1,000 a day in donations from here to the end of the drive. Santulli concedes that part of the problem is donors may not have a clear idea of where that money goes. The $30,000 will establish a home base in Silicon Valley and help to relocate Santulli from New Jersey. From Silicon Valley, they'll start organizing a mobile exhibit like the one seen at E3 this year, and drive interest and donations toward securing public museum space.
The three have been exhibiting their collection, but at personal expense (and loss of time from their day jobs; Santulli and Kelly run independent game stores.) If they fall short of their goal, Santulli doesn't know what will happen next.
"I don't really have an answer for that," he told Gamasutra. "Maybe we're not the best people to embrace an entire industry, and maybe we don't look like the right type of people to do it. But we're also pretty confident that whether word gets out in time to beat the Kickstarter deadline or not, that it's going to happen eventually, and we'll be involved in it in some way or another."
It's a difficult time for anything ambitious, even though the trio have modest, measurable and reasonable goals. The International Video Game Hall of Fame in Ottumwa, Iowa, with the backing of local businesses, city and state government, had a very visible inaugural celebration last year. It was unable to raise the money to secure a second one this year, and it was canceled outright—including the enshrinement of the hall's second class of honorees.