A Gamer’s Digital Dream

BY Andrew Miesner / August 11, 2009

I know the world wide members of the online gaming community must be thinking it is too good to be true. But as it seems, Governor Chet Culver, of Iowa, is to issue a Proclamation which re-confirms Ottumwa as the “Video Game Capital of the World,” also the gaming industry’s “official” International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum.

The city of Ottumwa will be holding a “Launch Party” on Thursday, August 13, 2009. The plan is to open up the blinds on this project and share the safe haven with the rest of the world. The event will be at the Bridge View Center, 102 Church Street, Ottumwa. A spokesperson for Governor Chet Culver will be presenting the Proclamation that reconfirms Ottumwa as the “Video Game Capital of the World” at 1:00 PM. The city has held this status since the early 1980s when it was host to numerous historic gaming events that were documented and which three separate feature films were made.

At 5:00 PM, Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack will be presenting a special address in support of Ottumwa’s plans to develop the International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum.The 26,000 residents of Ottumwa expect to have as much success as the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in Cooperstown, NY.

“Ottumwa has already received tremendous media coverage as a ‘Mecca for Gamers’ and has had many well-publicized events that were covered by LIFE magazine, ABC-TV’s That’s Incredible and the Associated Press. Ottumwa was the crossroads of the video game world in those days. In the course of this Launch Party, there will be numerous film clips screened that deal with Ottumwa’s well-known legacy as the ‘Video Game Capital of the World.’ It is also the amazing story of a small town changing its destiny and becoming the Cooperstown of the video game industry,a pretty bold move attempting something that you’d normally expect a major metropolis like Tokyo or Los Angeles to tackle.” – Walter Day (creator of the famous Twin Galaxies Scoreboard, founded in Ottumwa in November, 1981)



Wednesday Night, August 12, 7-9:00 PM

Everybody is welcome to attend a Reception honoring the visiting Guest Celebrities at the Courtside Bar & Grill, 2511 N Court St., Ottumwa, IA 52501-1158.

Call (641) 226-5002 for more information.

Schedule for Thursday, August 13, 2009
(This schedule may be changed or updated)

Contest Registration onsite at Bridge View Center.

1:00 – 4:00 PM
*Governor’s Proclamation Presented by Representatives from Governor Culver’s Office
* Halo 3 and Guitar HeroContests Start
*Free Gaming Festival, featuring many game systems on free play.
*Todd Rogers, history’s first pro gamer, takes on challengers for a “Beat The Champ” showdown
*Multi-media Display documenting Ottumwa’s legacy as the “Video Game Capital of the World”
*Autograph Session with Guest Celebrity gamers

5:00 PM
*Presentation by Congressman Dave Loebsack in support of the IVGHOF

6:00-6:45 PM
*Presentation on the IVGHOF, unveiling the plans and inviting Donations

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
*Video Game Capital Awards (Four recipients)
*Introducing Guest Celebrities and Presenting each with a Medal of Honor
* Producer of “FRAG” – Judd Saul of Cohesion Productions will introduce his documentary film on competitive gaming and show selected scenes.
* Lewis Wilson and John Sorflaten will show much of their documentary footage, excerpts from which have appeared in Chasing Ghosts, Frag and the King of Kong..

Special Guests Attending, in Alphabetical Order:

Jack Gale (Legendary Arcade Champion)
Isaiah “TriForce” Johnson (Modern Arcade Champ – Founder of Empire Arcadia)
Morningdove Mahoney (Frostbite Freddie World Champion)
Tim McVey (Honored in 1st “Civic Day” for a Gamer)
Billy Mitchell (Player of the century)
Todd Rogers (History’s 1st Pro Gamer)
Steve Sanders (Previous World Records: Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Joust, Super Pac-Man)
Tony Temple (Missile Command Champion from England)
Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel (History’s Most Successful Gamer)
Pete Bates (Noted Arcade Competitor from England)

(Admission is free but any type of donation will be helpful!)