The Franklin Institute: Game Masters

This past Saturday, I went to the Franklin Institute with my boyfriend, Larry, and one of my friends, Sam. For those of you unfamiliar with the Franklin Institute, it is a science museum and the center of science education and research in Philadelphia. It’s named after Benjamin Franklin, and houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.


The reason we decided to come was to visit this years special exhibit: The Game Masters. The exhibit showcases games from the days of the arcade, to the modern era, and even indie games, and visitors can even play a lot of them! There was also a lot of information, concept art, and interviews to listen to all over the exhibit.

Of course, when you first walk in, you start in a room full of arcade games, with classics like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Centipede.

We played hard, attempting to beat other’s high scores. The only one who succeeded on multiple was Larry, but I managed to get on the scoreboard for Donkey Kong! Until… he beat my score and knocked me off. But that’s okay. I got further then he did in Space Invaders, which is one of his favorite arcade games.

The “Arcade Heroes” section was cool, and a lot of fun. We spent a lot of time there, playing games from before our time (and wishing these types of Arcades were still around), before finally moving on to the “Game Changers” section.

This is where most of the concept art was. Some of the most beautiful was for Shadow of the Colossus, and World of Warcraft.

Of course, there were games here to play, too, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, The Sims 3, and all of the games that had the concept art. 31945313_1851992681479045_1551626213502484480_n

There were a lot of other games too, and the three of us had a blast at the exhibit. Of course, we only spent a fraction of the day there.

After the Game Masters exhibit, we decided to check out the rest of the museum. I managed to talk the other two into doing something I had always wanted to do when I visited the museum on Elementary School field trips (which was the last time I’d been there). Of course, it usually costs extra money, but with a membership to the museum, it was included! Thanks again, Sam!

The Sky Bike. The Sky Bike is a bike that goes along a tightrope, two stories above the main floor.

I was the only one who did it. (The other two were chickens!)

The bike is able to tip side to side, but it doesn’t totally flip, or fall off of the tightrope. Looking at it, and thinking of the science behind it, I believe it has to do with the part at the bottom. I believe it’s a weight, which would pull the bike’s, and the rider’s, center of balance below them, making it easier to balance.

After that, we went through a few more exhibits, and had a blast. The Game Master’s exhibit was totally worth it, especially since we were able to explore the rest of the museum afterwards. I can’t wait to see next year’s exhibit.

If you’re in the Philly area (or can easily get there), I definitely recommend checking it out. Click here for more information!

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