It was 1958 when the American physicist William Higinbotham decided to use the display of an oscilloscope to create a rudimentary simulation of tennis. His experiment gave the vital spark to what we now call video game.
VIGAMUS – The Video Game Museum of Rome, is the first Italian museum dedicated to an human expression form with more than 50 years of history, which sees a continuous narrative, aesthetic and technological evolution. VIGAMUS recognizes the video game medium as a cultural artefact, to be studied and divulged in virtue of its symbolic content, as well as manifestation of the spirit of every age that it has passed through.
The exhibition center is divided into thematic units, tracing the history of the video game consoles from the first one which was ever sold, the Magnavox Odyssey, up to the latest developments in contemporary gaming, such as the works of Rockstar Games. The individual areas of the exhibition examine the most significant and interesting phenomena in games history, such as the birth of Commodore, whose machines have introduced today's conception of personal computers, or the age of Infocom text adventures, one of the more complex and fascinating examples of interactive storytelling ever.
The museum exposition contains more than 440 pieces, accompanied by more than 100 panels illustrating the historical context and background. Items displayed in the room include software, or games, and hardware, vintage consoles on which games worked, as well as a selection of promotional merchandise and vintage toys. 15 video retrospectives, for a length of more than 200 minutes, allow visitors to see and hear first-person a selection of modern and ancient video games.