FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kyle Engen
Co-Steward of Operations
Phone: (971) 427-5516
MASSIVE COLLECTION OF BOARD GAMES LOSING ITS HOME
Transition Team takes Board Game Museum in a new direction.
Beaverton, OR -- Aug 24th, 2022
After a challenging covid season, the Interactive Museum of Gaming and Puzzlery (IMOGAP) is ready to make changes: To speak bluntly – our resources have withered and we are struggling to survive. We need to find a new location and new leadership. We are accepting all proposals at our new website: www.museumofgaming.org.
The Museum of Gaming was formed eleven years ago in Portland, Oregon by Carol Mathewson and Kyle Engen. They discovered there was no museum dedicated to Board Games in the United States, and set out to change that. Over the years tens of thousands of visitors came to the museum, and the collection grew to nearly 9,000 items from all over the world. Volunteers have dedicated thousands of hours to supporting the museum in every way, from serving on our board, to documentation of the collection, design of logos and exhibits, vacuuming the floors, and, most of all, encouraging folk to play a good game together.
New trends like board game cafes, and experiential rather than material entertainments, have reinforced the value of our work. Other trends, however, like pestilence, ecological destruction, and war have forced a lot of people to reexamine their priorities - and at times like that most leisure activities seem unimportant.
We don’t feel that way however; to us playing games is a fundamental human need, like food, rest, and procreation. Play is the tool that adapts human plasticity to their environment. There is no human culture, past or present, that has not developed gaming as part of their identity. For these reasons, and many others, we remain convinced that the study and preservation of board games is both timely and relevant.
In addition, it is the essence of most games to limit conflict to the game board, and thereby to have peace in the room. This is something our polarized times are severely lacking.
Our vision of the museum has always been a cooperative space for diverse people to play and study games. For eleven years we have done everything we can to bring that closer, and now that we can no longer maintain the museum on our own we are seeking alternatives. Like many unfortunates in this challenging era, the museum has become homeless.
So we must find a home. We are calling this effort the Phoenix Protocol in hopes that a stronger museum can rise from these ashes. We have formed a Transition Board to oversee, that includes Lesly Annand, Matthew Kimble, Bryan Fosmire, Helene Siegfried and Paul Siegfried, as well as Carol and Kyle. Their mission is to seek the best dispensation of our collection, in light of our mission, that is available to them. All resources raised will be used to support this effort.
The remarkable Sid Sackson Collection of board games was tragically broken up and sold off following his death in 2005. We have several items from that collection at the museum. We do not want them to suffer the same fate.
The Transition Board will reach a decision by December 15th, 2022. If you, or anyone you know, has ideas or a proposal for us, please submit it at www.museumofgaming.org.
If we had our druthers, resources would come flowing in, and we’d pursue our vision of a multi-use property with museum, gift shop, and restaurant, as well as facilities for archives, workers, visitors, research interns and guest designers. We’d build using an innovative and sustainable process, like 3-D printed compressed soil buildings, or saltwater concrete. We’d develop scientific research into game related areas like anthropology, randomness, deception, competitiveness, and fandom. We’d support underserved communities like people of color, people on the autism spectrum, non-violent ex-criminals, native people, and transgender folks who have shown us so much support in the past.
To us games and rules are multidisciplinary studies that are uniquely human, and it would be a great sadness to sweep them once again out of sight.
We do not know what comes next. We hope that a strong partnership comes to us, perhaps a nearby University is compatible with our anthropological bent, or a local corporation is moved to partner with us, or a local government municipality sees what we offer to the community. In the meantime we will work hard to preserve, and celebrate, board games.
The Museum of Gaming, the only board game museum in the United States. Established in 2010, as a 501(c)(3) public charity. The museum features more than 9,000 games in their collection. Their website is at https://www.museumofgaming.org
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Please contact Kyle Engen at (971) 427-5516 for more information.