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Poll: Where would you put a D&D museum?

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    Where would you put a D&D museum?

    Inspired by a Facebook comment by Luke Gygax (and the ensuing discussion) I figured this was an interesting topic for discussion. Luke asked whether Lake Geneva was a special place to D&D gamers - for various reasons, including GenCon's birth, TSR's headquarters, and much more. However, other suggestions for a potential museum have included Indianapolis (the current home of Gen Con) and Renton (the current home of WotC) and Orlando in Florida (the current home of... Mickey Mouse?)

    Most people in that discussion favoured Lake Geneva as a museum location. I personally favour Gen Con's current home, Indianapolis, because I feel that a museum's purpose isn't to be "appropriate" (it's not to be inappropriate, of course, either) but to bring its contents to people who would otherwise be unable to access them. That's why you get exhibits of Greek art and don't have to go to Greece to see them. And, similarly, I personally feel that a D&D museum's purpose is for the people and the fans - and they gather in their thousands in Indy every year. What a great addition to a vacation spent at Gen Con - a D&D museum, too!

    I think it's especially suitable for those of us further away - I'm not likely to take an intercontinental vacation to Lake Geneva to see one museum, however great it is; but I would certainly see it if it were in the same town as Gen Con, which I'm able to travel to once every few years.

    Others rightly pointed out that Gen Con was but once a year; and that's an excellent point.

    What do you think?
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    Orlando, FL - it is all about promoting the games and Orlando is a kid mecca. Think it would get more foot traffic and be more of an impact.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hand of Evil View Post
    Orlando, FL - it is all about promoting the games and Orlando is a kid mecca. Think it would get more foot traffic and be more of an impact.
    I can see that argument. But I'm not sold that the purpose of a museum is promotion. That could be a useful side-benefit, of course, but you go to an Ancient Greek art museum because you like Ancient Greek art; it isn't there to promote Ancient Greece to you. So for me, I think it needs to be somewhere convenient for existing D&D players.

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    Indianapolis seems like a good idea. I think you could expect a lot of visitors during GenCon.

    Although saying that, how many at other times of the year? Maybe I should have thought a little more before voting.

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    Indianapolis already has a Children's Museum. I could see a permanent D&D wing there, sponsored by GenCon/WotC/etc.

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    Back of my house. One I need the money. Two the amount of traffic would not increase. Three may get rid of the other weirdoes in the neighborhood.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    I can see that argument. But I'm not sold that the purpose of a museum is promotion. That could be a useful side-benefit, of course, but you go to an Ancient Greek art museum because you like Ancient Greek art; it isn't there to promote Ancient Greece to you. So for me, I think it needs to be somewhere convenient for existing D&D players.
    Sure, making the museum convenient can make sense (assuming the ownership of the materials was clear and remote display was by permission - UNLIKE the Elgin Marbles situation). But so can leaving it in a place of actual significance. And I'm sorry, but though Indianapolis is convenient now, its significance is merely that - convenience. What happens when/if Gen Con moves on from there?

    I don't know what kind of exhibits would be planned for a D&D museum or what they would cost to display. I suspect that what anybody wanting to establish one would have to do is think in a mercenary way - where can they come up with the funds to have a museum in the first place? Where might they have to put it to comply with the wishes of the benefactors?

    Frankly, what may be more appropriate is a virtual museum with physical copies of the materials displayed stored by some kind of archivist or conservator. I doubt the Walworth County Historical Society would be all that interested. But the Wisconsin Historical Society might be - they have a pretty well regarded collection of American history including ephemeral materials. RPGs might be a pretty good adjunct to that sort of collection.
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    With all the arguments for Indianapolis, I would have to ask, what if the convention moves? I mean, that is what happened to Lake Geneva and Minneapolis. If GenCon were to move locations again, then all of the arguments for "that's where the gamers are" become a moot point. I say put it somewhere that has a strong tie in history, Lake Geneva. That's where it started pretty much.

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    Museui should be where people are, or where they go. Lake Geneva is a bad answer for that reason. Seattle or Minneapolis make good locales. The Mall of America is an international tourist destination( not sure why) so it makes sense. Museums are about sharing history, so put it in a bigger city, with at least some connection to Tue game.

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    Hawaii?
    Actually I voted Lake Geneva, but I could understand wanting to have it mobile and perhaps intermittent for money reasons. Then it could just travel around and be at Cons.
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