The Bullock Texas State History Museum Now Houses Richard Garriott’s Old Apple ][
If you’ve been anxious to catch a glimpse of the Apple ][ workstation that Richard Garriott used to create Akalabeth, you’ll need to make a little trip to the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin:
When you go to the Bullock Texas State History Museum, you usually expect to encounter things like battle-scarred artifacts from the Texas Revolution, the personal effects of cowboys and outlaws, or one of Lance Armstrong’s cycling uniforms scrawled with a message of congratulations from Governor George W. Bush. But starting Saturday, July 29, visitors will be able to explore another important facet of Texas history – video games.
“The gaming industry has strong roots in Texas – and especially in Austin,” said Bullock Museum Deputy Director Margaret Koch. “It was important for us to tell this story and to show how, for the last 50 years, gaming has influenced the way we work, play, and learn every day.”
The new exhibit, “Pong to Pokémon: The Evolution of Electronic Gaming,” is dedicated to showcasing the history of video games and the gaming industry here in Texas, which only trails behind California in number of game developers. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to follow the rapid growth of the industry in the Lone Star State and beyond, from the earliest days of mainframe computers and arcade machines to today’s multifaceted and constantly evolving landscape of consoles, PCs, phones, and virtual reality.
One hundred rare artifacts of gaming history will be on display, many of them on loan from personal collections and never before shown to the public. Visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of the Apple II workstation Austin-based developer Richard Garriott used to create the first computer role-playing game, Akalabeth; a page from the Doom “bible,” the blueprint for the legendary first-person shooter; and even a prototype Brown Box, engineer Ralph Baer’s late-Sixties invention that is the grandfather of all video game consoles.
The From Pong to Pokémon exhibition will run through until about the middle of March, 2018.