Around Town

Blast from the Video Game Past

The Rhode Island Computer Museum in North Kingstown celebrates gaming's 8-bit golden age


The public’s love for retro video games (think anything that used cartridges, and that you had to blow into to make work) grows stronger every year. We all remember the first game we fired up, which is why the Rhode Island Computer Museum in North Kingstown maintains a collection of retro games and consoles for curious – and nostalgic – gamers.

“Nostalgia is number one with the popularity of retro gaming, and it’s what brings people in,” says Dean Duffy, a volunteer at the museum. “However, the games from that era that were the true masterpieces of design [are] what keep the players engaged. Games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda are great examples of that.”

The museum has the original NES, Sega Genesis and even the wood-paneled Atari 2600, plus others that can be connected for guests as needed. Their inclusion among the museum’s collections (“Gaming and computing [have] always gone hand-in-hand,” Dean points out) helps to contextualize video games within the narrative of one of the last century’s greatest technological advances. Plus, you know, who doesn’t love Super Mario Bros.