Enter the video game museum through Wikipedia

The first video game Evan Amos ever played was Super Mario Bros on the classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and he remembers the day clearly: December 25th, 1988. In the 25 years since, the 30-year-old Missouri native has witnessed the evolution of gaming consoles into they state-of-the-art units they are today.

As a game enthusiast and photographer, Amos began to notice the lack of high-quality pictures for game consoles on Wikipedia and on the Internet generally. Feeling that he could do a better job himself, he set out to take his own pictures and upload them.

He started by taking photos of household items in his apartment after he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he uploaded them onto Wikimedia Commons, the freely-licensed image database behind Wikipedia. “The first picture I uploaded was a poorly shot roll of duct tape,” he says. “I knew I wanted to take pictures of the video game consoles I owned, but I took some test shots of things lying around the apartment first.”

He put the duct tape on a piece of white poster board to minimize shadows. He shot it with a Sony A700 DSLR and an inexpensive Impact studio strobe. He used Photoshop to wipe away the remaining shadows, a technique that he applies to the console photos.

“Since this was for an encyclopedia, I wanted the pictures to be as direct, neutral and clean as possible. If you go too stylized in your photos, I think that it limits their application or ability to be educational,” he says. “I’m sure that the style is also what helps the pictures get around as much as they do, because it makes them so easy to use for a variety of projects.”

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3 Comments on Enter the video game museum through Wikipedia

Alli Berman 12 months

Enjoyed the article and am happy to watch the progression of photos entered over time.
Good work!

Lane Rasberry 12 months

These photographs are amazing and this beings a wonderful expansion of the professionalism and scope of what can be collected and curated by Wikimedia Commons. The production values of this collection could not be improved and I hope that others see this and replicate this kind of image documentation for all sorts of objects.

Evan Amos is doing a better job sharing his museum’s collection online than practically any other museum in the world is doing with their own collection.

Pankaj Goyal 12 months

Nice work, Good article.

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