Video gamers, unite!  The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has recently announced their Video Game Archive that features over 7,000 games.  Everything from the early 8-bit "Frogger" to more sophisticated multi-player, first person games like "Call of Duty" and "Halo" are represented in the collection. What makes this archive stand out from similar such stockpiles is that all games are available to the public to play.

What does a Computer and Video Game Archive have to do with higher education? Although video games get a bad reputation for numbing the minds of teenagers since the late 70s, instructors at U of M have used everything from racing games to study texting while driving to discussing the historical accuracy of feudal Japan in games set in that era.

Video games have come a long way since I was a kid. I remember getting the original NES for Christmas with a copy of Tetris and Super Mario Bros. 3 and thinking I was never going to see anything as exciting glowing on my television screen. The advancements that have been made in the video game industry are truly mind blowing. You no longer need to gather your friends around one game console in your basement and take turns; you can now connect from console to console from anywhere in the world and enjoy a multi-player experience - and don't even get me started on how realistic and accessible virtual reality is becoming. Hell, virtual reality headsets now come free with some smart phone upgrades. Times, they are a'changing. What was once thought to be a passing fad video games are a growing, every changing medium that is here to stay.

 

 

Nostalgic for Atari? Fond memories of Game Cube? Make the University of Michigan Ann Arbor's Computer and Video Game Archive a destination on your next road trip.