If you have gamers in the family, it’s a good bet that you can find something fun and game-related on your vacation. And don’t worry, that doesn’t mean sitting inside and staring at a screen. Here are some popular video game museums, tours, and other touristy activities.
Assassin’s Creed Tour —Florence, Italy
The team behind Assassin’s Creed II put a lot of effort into making detailed reprsentations of Venice, Florence, and other Italian cities in the game. There’s a particularly famous story about one gamer’s grandparents taking a gondola ride around virtual Venice to relive their memories of Italy.
Assassin’s Creed fans will be happy to know that there’s an Assassin’s Creed tour running in Florence! The tour focuses on the architecture and history of Florence, with references to the storyline of Assassin’s Creed. Reviewers say it’s a great way to get teenagers engaged with the history of the city.
Nintendo World Store—New York, USA
The Nintendo World Store is in Midtown Manhattan. It has loads of Nintendo merchandise, to be sure, but it also hosts events—like a monthly Mario Kart 8 tournament and Tomodachi Life mixer events. And of course, there’s a giant Pokemon section. Kids of all ages can enjoy a trip around the Nintendo store.
Living Computer Museum—Seattle, WA, USA
The Living Computer Museum has collected loads of old machines—including some of thevery first computers—and old games too. Their computers date back to the 1960s! A lot of the vintage games are completely playable. If you ever need to prove to your kids how good they have it, just have them sit down for a quick session with Lunar Lander.
All of the machines are in working condition, and visitors can try their hand programming and playing with these awesome modern-day relics.
The Art of Video Games—Toledo, OH, USA (on tour)
The Art of Video Games is currently making the rounds of American art museums. It began at the Smithsonian in 2012, and it’s currently in Toledo, Ohio, through September 28th. It will continue on to museums in Michigan, Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida.
If you’ve ever wondered how video games could be considered art or been curious about the history of video games, you should check this exhibition out. There are games here dating all the way back to the first consoles, as well as interviews with developers about storytelling, art, and design. Check out the Smithsonian page for the exhibit for more information and tour dates.
The Strong Museum of Play—Rochester, NY, USA
The Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, started as a collection of dolls and other toys. It has now expanded into many exhibits examining the different ways that we play—and offering lots of interactivity. Check out the exhibits and you’ll see there’s lots of indoor and outdoor fun to be had.
Play is a huge part of how we learn. The museum also does research into the role of play in human development. Much of the collection is accessible for people with special needs.
La Gaîté Lyrique—Paris, France
La Gaîté lyrique is a cultural center that hosts concerts, exhibits of digital culture, expositions of modern video games, and more. It focuses on indie games that demonstrate cultural trends in game development. More than that, it’s a cool space to duck into, have a drink, and perhaps attend a workshop.
Do you have any favorite video game tourism destinations? We didn’t even get into all the awesome conventions you could go to. Leave us some suggestions in the comments below!