The Computerspielemuseum opened the first permanent exhibition in the world for digital interactive entertainment culture in 1997 in Berlin. After that, it became responsible for 30 national and international exhibitions. Among these was the project “pong.mythos” sponsored by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Germany’s most successful traveling exhibition in the history of computer games. In the last five years, over 470,000 visitors have seen this exhibition. The museum contains around 16,000 game titles, around 10,000 technical magazines, many historical home computers and console systems, which were sold in Europe, and an extensive amount of other documents, for example: videos, posters and handbooks. It contains one of the largest collections of entertainment software and hardware in Europe.
The Computerspielemuseum’s collection is the property of the Booster Club for Youth and Social Work. The new museum itself is run by Gameshouse gGmbH. Building the new permanent exhibition was financed by the German Lottery Fund in Berlin and from the Cultural Investment Program of Berlin’s Cultural Affairs Department, so the ERDF.
There are over 300 interactive exhibits illustrating the cultural history of computer gaming. One is the highlights is an actual video arcade from the 1980s with authentic arcade games from the decade that launched video games into popular culture. All console game systems are on display from the original Magnavox Odyssey from 1972 to more recent household devices like the Nintendo systems and all versions of the PlayStation family. An original exhibit in the museum is called the “PainStation”, where the loser of the game is subject to physical punishment such as heat or a mild electric shock.