It’s rare to see Tesla coils, a man in a giant cardboard robot suit, an R2-D2-building club, steam punk accessories, and video games share a common zip code, much less congregate in one confined space. Yet they were all part of this past weekend’s celebration of do-it-yourself culture at Maker Faire 2012 in San Mateo, Calif. Packed with exhibits and experiments, Maker Faire is a chance for “makers” — that is, anyone who actively seeks to create something with their own hands — to not just show off their projects and hobbies but to inspire the thousands of people who came to see them.
Video games were just a small fraction of what was on display, but collectively they composed an insightful reflection on the history of the medium. On the fairgrounds were not just one, but two organizations who have dedicated themselves to the preservation of video games: the Digital Game Museum (DGM), who aims to preserve and explore the history and impact of digital games (but lacks a permanent home), and the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE), who has similar goals but also possesses a dedicated physical space in Oakland, Calif. to house its work.