Since starting up Miketendo64 back in 2015, I have had the opportunity to visit video game conventions, Comic Cons and private Press events but I have never had the chance to visit a video game museum, until now. On February 18th, 2023 I had the opportunity to attend OXO Museo Videojuego in Malaga, Spain. It had only been open since the end of January but I had heard plenty of good things about it and I just had to see it in person.
Now, for us gamers, we all have plenty of very fond memories of playing video games in our younger years. Be it the first time you laid eyes on a Nintendo Entertainment system, shooting T-Rexes with dual pistols as Lara Croft, or burning through quarters on the coin-op machines trying to get the high score your favourite arcade machine. Granted, the video game medium has made leaps and bounds in technological advancements with astounding visuals and textures, smooth frame rates, deep character development, and rich storyline.
However incredible the achievements of video games progression may be, would it have been at all possible if not for their humble origins in the first place? With dial controls that moved paddles on a screen and side-scrolling, 8-bit platformers that had players engaged for hours, it was this precipice as well as their growing popularity that helped launch video games to where they are now. So, when my partner Veronica told me that a museum dedicated to the history and preservation of video games had opened its doors to the public, I knew I just had to go and wow, what an experience it was.
OXO Museo Videojuego Málaga (Video game Museum)
The OXO Museo Videojuego is located in the Centro Histórico area of Malaga (not too far from the Gibralfaro Castle). It is made up of five floors including the main reception area and gift shop and two café restaurants on the ground floor and the top floor. The remaining three floors are decked out with all sorts of video game memorabilia and fully playable machines.
I went to the museum with Veronica and our friends Paco and Carmen. We showed our pre-paid tickets to the receptionists and we were then told to wait a little while before we could start the museum tour. When it was time for the tour to get going, we were ushered into a room with projectors suspended from the ceiling. We were then treated to a fully immersive digital experience as the projectors turned the room into the interior of a spaceship and then the next moment, we were on a raft in a large cave, all while a disembodied voice narrates the history of video games.
Once the immersive visual experience is over, you are then given free rein to tour the museum at your leisure. All of the floors of the museum have elevator access and the first floor was dedicated to the first few generations of video games from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. There were some classic arcade cabinets with the likes of Donkey Kong, Outrun, Excitebike, Defender, and Asteroids and several other cabinets as well.
Behind a glass display, there were a number of video game consoles that were presented in the chronological order from 1972-2004 of when they were first released, including but limited to the likes of the Magnavox Odyssey, Intellivision, Atari VCS, NES, SEGA Mega Drive, Sony PlayStation, and Nintendo Gamecube.
With the exception of the consoles behind glass panes, pretty much every console and machine on display was playable. Even the giant Nintendo Game Boy, The NES Controller and the Sony PlayStation controller were fully functional. On the Game Boy, you could play TETRIS, On the NES controller, you could play Super Mario Bros. and on the PlayStation Controller, you could play Crash Bandicoot.
To list every game available to play at OXO Museo Videojuego would take far too long but to give you a brief idea of the vast availability and variety, I shall give you a brief list.
- Tomb Raider
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Street Fighter II: Champion Edition
- Animal Crossing
- Uncharted 4
- Mario Kart 64
- Space Invaders
- Fatal Fury
- Extreme Championship Wrestling
- Virtual Boy Wario Land
The second floor of the Museum hosts a number of temporary exhibits. The current exhibits were focused on games like Animal Crossing, Call of Duty, and God of War. The God of War exhibit was currently commandeered by a national radio station who had set up shop and were currently promoting the Museum on their station.
The other exhibits were interesting to check out though. The Call of Duty Exhibit had a number of real-life weapons that have appeared in the game series and a number of dioramas and statues dressed in military gear. The Animal Crossing exhibit had a little house propped up as well as a stall that had the Animal Crossing Games on display. There were also Tom Nook and Isabelle standees that people could stand alongside them and take pictures as well as an interactive quiz to take part in.
A Touch of Modernity
On the third floor of the Museum, there were some more modern arcade cabinets and games consoles. There was a 4-player Pong table that played a bit like Laser hockey, a Taiko no Tatsujin cabinet, a Bass Fishing machine and seating area with a playable PS5. It was on this floor that the previously mentioned giant NES controller and Super Mario Bros. game could be found as well as a 3D Pac-Man game displayed on a sphere that had players move all the way around the sphere to eat the pellets, and a VR attraction that had you sit on a moving seat that would emulate the feeling of being on a roller coaster.
The VR attraction was probably the most popular as it actually had a queue of people waiting to try it out. It was very busy in the Museum but you never had to wait too long to try any of the other games and the VR experience was the only exception.
My Thoughts On My Experience At OXO
From arriving at the doors of the OXO Museo Videojuego to leaving to go home, I was literally like a kid in a candy store. The many, many machines on display was mind boggling and the opportunity play them all just made the experience all the more enthralling. Veronica, Paco and Carmen also had an incredible time and speaking of time, it really did feel like it flew by as the average duration of the museum tour is about an hour and a half but we were in there for nearly three! We didn’t stop for refreshments at the adjacent café restaurants but if we did, we probably would have never left the museum until we were forced out due to closing.
To say that we had a good time would be a complete understatement. While tickets may be 15€ per person, it is most certainly 15€ p.p. well spent with the many attractions the OXO Museo Videojuego had to offer. Should you find yourselves planning a trip to Southern Spain any time soon and most notably in or near Malaga, you should definitely pay a visit to this museum. It is like one great big video game convention that is open all year round!
I would like to thank Javier Arbós, the director of OXO Museo Videojuego and his incredible team for the fantastic experience that I had at their museum and also to my partner and friends that I got to share this experience with. If you would like to learn more about OXO Museo Videojuego, be sure to check out their official website. It is available in Spanish and English and everything throughout the museum is in both languages as well.
Before we round out this feature, I would like to share with you more photos of the Museum as well as a short video so you can see even more of the wonders that await those who enter its doors. Until next time, Keep On Gaming!