This review of the University of Michigan Computer & Video Game Archive is part of our Summer Series: Wednesday Activity Reviews.
Our Visit to UM Computer & Video Game Archive
Last week my daughter and I attended a Japan Week event at the UM computer and Video Game Archive which is a division of the University of Michigan library. I had never heard of the archive before, and was amazed to learn that they are open to the general public.
The UM Computer & Video Game Archive has a whole wall of games including Atari 2600, Nintendo 64, Wii, Wii U, Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis, Playstation, XBox through current systems like the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Sony Playstation 4. They also have the systems and accessories to play all of the games.
Our first station was setup with Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, Sega Genesis, and an original Nintendo.
Since we were visiting for Japan Week, they had a series of consoles setup to play games from Japan. My daughter browsed through the games and picked a Nintendo 64 game featuring Yoshi from the Mario series. It was quite the challenge to play the game in Japanese since we could not understand the prompts. She eventually figured out the objective and completed two levels before getting stuck on a third level.
My daughter also decided to try the original Mario Bros for the Atari 2600. She was having trouble with figuring out how to kill the koopas. Mom took a turn with more success. Even though I never had Mario Bros, enough Atari stuck with me to figure it out.
Visiting UM Computer & Video Game Archive
The UM Computer & Video Game Archive is FREE! Games can be checked out for use in the archive for 4 hours. You do need to check out the game with an MCard or by leaving a photo id (drivers license). For systems with a wait list, your session is limited to one hour.
The UM Computer & Video Game Archive is best for older tweens and teens. Kids under 13 must be supervised by an adult at all times. An adult may supervise up to 3 minors.
The UM Computer & Video Game Archive is in Room B474 of the Duderstadt Center (2281 Bonisteel Blvd). Street parking and nearby lots require a blue permit before 5p. We parked in the visitors parking lot (NC43) in front of the Art & Architecture building along Fuller Rd. Looking at the map, visitors parking lot (NC27 – 1300 Murfin Avenue) at the Walgreen Drama Center may be a big closer. Using the bus is also a great way to get to north campus.
The Duderstadt Center is a complicated building. A map to the Duderstadt Center is available here.
The UM Computer & Video Game Archive hours change based on the season. As of today (June 27), their hours are weekdays from 1-5p through August 17. They are not open on July 4th. Hours for the fall semester are not yet available. Current hours are on their calendar. Also, check their event calendar. Sometimes the library closes for an event or group during standard hours.
What Not to Bring
Food and drink are not allowed in the Computer and Video Game Archive. You can leave drinks on the table at the checkout table. Backpacks and bags are not allowed in the archive. There is a wall of cubby holes where you can leave your bags.