Jim & Debbie Hunton have launched an Indiegogo to crowdfund the creation of a Dungeons & Dragons Museum. As described on the Indiegogo page:
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.
The museum is planned to open in 2014 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of Dungeons & Dragons, in a similar fashion to the Dungeons & Dragons Documentary. Where will the museum end up? Four locations are proposed (see slideshow):
- 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.
The supporters will determine the location by an email survey. But the museum won’t be geographically limited:
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.)
See the slideshow for the museum plans. As explained on the museum’s blog:
ARCHITECTURAL PLANS – we have a draft of plans in place that were done by a professional architect who has donated his time to the museum (he has done work for various government museums). The model in the video (http://youtu.be/2zjDG4mxxi0) is based on these plans. In addition, the photo we’re using for the front of the museum is based on techniques that can be used to give any existing building a castle-style facade. The final architectural plans cannot be finalized, nor can the final entrance be designed, until the actual physical location is chosen. For example, the design will vary if the space is long and narrow or square, local code enforcement has to approve the facade, fire codes vary from state to state and city to city, etc. Once the museum is funded, and the final plans are complete, we will share them.
- The museum’s first expansion will include D20 and Judge’s Guild products, but there are future plans to include wings for other games and other genres like science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Contributors receive the following (all rewards cumulative):
- $15 (free museum entry): One free entrance into the museum once it opens.
- $25 (Thank You Certificate/Scroll): A hand-calligraphied personalized scroll of thanks on parchment (suitable for framing and mailed in early 2013).
- $40 (Name on the Wall): The backers’ names will be placed on the wall of the museum to show that they helped build it.
- $75 (Museum Book): This museum is a piece of history, and as such, will be documented in a book (published about 6 months after opening). Contributors will receive a copy of this book (see slideshow for example). They will also get a virtual tour, in case they can’t make it in person.
- $120 (Tote Bag): A branded tote bag from the museum (see slideshow for example).
- $160 (T-Shirt): A branded t-shirt from the museum (see slideshow for example).
- $200 (Supporter’s Plaque): The contributor’s name will be engraved on a plate and put on a plaque in the entrance hallway at the museum.
- $250 (Convention Ticket or Artwork): With this perk contribuators can choose one of the following: 1. Ticket for Winter Fantasy, January 2013, 2. Ticket for GaryCon, March 2013, 3. Art from Larry Elmore, 4. Art from Jeff Easley, 5. Art from Todd Lockwood.
- $450 (Gen Con Ticket): With this donation contributors will receive a ticket for GenCon 2013 in Indianapolis. In addition to everything from the $200 sponsor perk (with two free entrances into the museum).
- $2,000 (Opening Ceremony): The opening event will be a huge (but elegant) party. The contributor and a friend will be attending this event. In addition, a dedication of the contributor’s choice (up to 20 words) will be engraved on a plate and put on a plaque in the entrance hallway at the museum, along with lifetime entry for both attendees. In addition, the contributor will also receive everything from the $200 sponsor perk (with two free entrances into the museum).
- $5,000 (Ribbon Cutting): The contributor is photographed cutting the ribbon at the opening event? In addition, everything from the $2,000 sponsor perk.
- $10,000 (Member of the Board): Contributor joins the board of directors. In addition, he or she will also receive everything from the $5,000 sponsor perk.
The project has a goal of $150,000 by January 15, 2013. To contribute see the Indiegogo page.
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