The National Museum of Video Games and Popular Cultures
With one of the largest collections in Europe, and thanks to its experience in setting up long-term exhibitions, MO5.COM wants to offer a perennial space for preserving and sharing the digital and computing heritage with the general public.
Our ambition is to create a National Museum of Video Games and Popular Cultures, open to all and interactive, that would offer a chronological and thematic round of digital technologies.
There is no major space dedicated to videogaming and contemporary popular cultures in France, to the creative industries and to the most prominent of them – the video game industry. By contemporary popular cultures, we mean this blend of cinema, television, animated film, video game, comics, novel, music, internet creations, digital technologies that make up a shared culture for our fellow citizens.
Yet our country has major assets in the field of creative industries and video game design. It notably combines a very strong artistic culture with a strong technological culture. It offers, to name only a few domains, excellent training courses in arts, computing, graphics, webdesign, comics, engineering and video game design, that breed talents recognized worldwide and that allowed the development of leading companies.
A Wealth to Valorize
Yet France does not enjoy the same visibility as Japan or the United States in these fields. Who knows that most of the 1980s American science fiction movies owe their aesthetic quality to the serials published in French comic book magazine Métal Hurlant? Who knows that France was at the forefront of 3D video games in the 1990s, and is a major player now? Who knows that today, France literally floods animation and video game studios around the world with its cartoonists and 3D animators?
Despite all that, apart from specific exhibitions hosted by institutions dedicated to other topics, video games and the associated popular culture are not presented in a permanent way and certainly not put in the foreground. Which is why we aim to create a new cultural institution in the Paris area.
What we suggest is a large museum of video games and contemporary popular cultures, combined with a campus for creative industries. It would present a chronological and thematic round of the cultural productions shared by each generation of French people, from the 1960s to the current days. From the 1970s onwards, the backbone of the museum would be provided by video games and digital technologies. It would present the French and foreign productions that achieved success in France. For you can’t understand the youth TV shows from the 1980s without the Japanese cartoons, just as you can’t forget the successful French productions of the time such as “Once upon a time”.
An Interactive Museum
This museum would be based on the concept of an “accessible museum”, already developed by MO5.COM over more than 15 years in the field of video games. Everything would be arranged to let everyone access the items on display. The video games will be available to play in the original conditions on vintage equipment. That same principle will apply to all media.
Regarding comic books, a dedicated room would present original albums in display cases and a comfortable reading space will allow people to consult the corresponding albums. In a room dedicated to the disco-music wave in France, seats fitted with directional speakers will allow visitors to listen to records from that era – works by Sheila, Claude François, etc.
A Family and Intergenerational Museum
This will be a family museum, where each generation can explain to the others, for its own period, the contents it knows about. This will also be a contextualized museum, offering historical, aesthetical, economical and social explanations to understand the items on display.
Collections already available
MO5.COM has assembled the largest collection of video games and digital technologies in Europe, in view of a donation the day a national museum opens. Other collections already exist to complement it in related fields.
A Successful Theme
Multiple exhibitions, large or small, have already been organized on this topic and met with huge success : “Game Story : Une histoire du Jeu Vidéo” at the Grand Palais in Paris, “Une Histoire du Jeu Vidéo” at the Musée de la Civilisation in Québec, “GAME” at the EDF Foundation, “Goscinny et le cinéma” at the French cinematheque, “Barbie” at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, “Miyazaki-Moebius dialogue entre créateurs d'univers” at the Monnaie de Paris, etc.
A Major Space, a New Popular Space in Paris
The museum should be positioned as one of the major institutions in the Paris area in terms of square footage, so as to offer attractive presentations for visitors.
The museum will also house a specialized public library and will be staffed with teams of researchers (historians, ethnologists, art historians). All the components of a genuine campus of creative industries will be brought together around the museum, including specialized schools, a startup incubator, industry representatives, tools for creators (library, games library, design library, archives, etc.), and a research institute on video games.
This campus will become the showcase of creative industries in France, and of creation in the video game industry.