We discussed here on the forums various potential locations for a D&D museum, the plans for which Luke Gygax was bandying about. Well, now the folks involved in this museum have launched a crowdfunding project on IndieGoGo to make this idea a reality. They need $150,000 in the next 60 days - a far from unsurmountable goal given the amounts some recent RPG Kickstarters have made.
For many years, we’ve been thinking about all of the collections that just get thrown out or given away to people who don't know what they are. We personally saw a pile of D&D books destroyed by a local charitable organization. I'm sure the person who donated them didn't want that, and the entire idea of books being destroyed makes us cringe.
Hearing about Dave Arneson's collection being found in a storage shed has really pushed us to move forward on finding a permanent location for the museum. The founders of this game and the original gamers are aging, and more and more collections like this will be destroyed if something isn't done soon.
Getting across our passion for the game online isn't easy. Maybe the best way to describe it is the way we explain it at conventions: we consider ourselves paladins of Dungeons & Dragons. Rather like Varys from Game of Thrones is a champion of the kingdom - no matter who sits on the throne, the kingdom must survive.
Without the contributions of E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, the world would be a different place. They created the concept of fantasy roleplaying games. Without them, we'd all be playing wargames. Video games wouldn't exist in their current form (although video wargames may have been developed).
We will be opening the museum’s new location in 2014 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of Dungeons & Dragons. The timing will be tight, as we have to find the right place to house the museum in a permanent resting place, build it out (i.e. put in necessary walls and ceilings), then design and build all of the museum's displays. But plans are in place to get it done, and you will be kept updated every step of the way!
We have spent a lot of time planning over the past few years, including locations. We have decided to let you, our supporters, choose where the museum should be located. Once we fund, we will send an email to everyone on our mailing list with a link to a survey, so you can vote on where we will be opening (Yes, we're willing to move to the other end of the country if that's where you want the museum to be - we are THAT dedicated to this cause!). There are four locations that we consider appropriate to the game:
1A. Lake Geneva, WI Where it all started, and where many of the artists and game designers who worked for TSR still reside. This area is rich with D&D gaming history. Also, it is fairly centrally located in the US
1B. Orlando, FL Dave Arneson taught game design in this area for many years. In addition, it is an area where most people will travel at least once in their lives (Disney World is located there, after all). It would be the most likely to allow international fans of D&D to visit the museum.
2A. Indianapolis, IN Where GenCon (where D&D became a smash hit) is currently being held. Tens of thousands of gaming fans flock to this area every summer.
2B. Renton, WA Where Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons since 1997, is headquartered.
One of the missions of the museum will be to spread knowledge of the history of the game to as many people as possible. This will be done, in part, through traveling displays at as many conventions throughout the country as possible. (For instance, we know MANY gamers who started playing in 2000, and have never held a copy of the older products, or looked through them to see if there are ideas in them that they can bring to their current game. Likewise, gamers who stopped moving to new editions at some point might gain ideas from new products.)
The museum's first planned expansion will include related/licensed products like Judge's Guild and the D20 products. Future plans include adding wings to the museum for other RPGs. We hope to do three different sections - science fiction, fantasy, and horror. These would include both older and current games.