The Video Game Capital Of The World
"The Dodge City of Video Gaming"
Ottumwa, Iowa is the Video Game Capital of the World How did we get this unique distinction? Back in the early 1980's, our hometown video arcade, Twin Galaxies, began keeping official high scores and records for video gaming. Ottumwa hosted the first North American Video Olympics in the fall of 1982 where top players gathered and played in Ottumwa. This event was featured in a LIFE magazine photograph. Twin Galaxies organized the first significant video-game championship, to crown a world champion. This event was filmed in Ottumwa by ABC-TV's That's Incredible! and was aired on the night of February 21, 1983.
Twin Galaxies - the arcade - is long gone. But Twin Galaxies lives on as the official organization that tracks video game world records - like the Guinness Book of World Records for video gaming achievement. As the original "Dodge City of Video Games", where high scoring players came to complete and break records, Ottumwa holds a unique place in the golden age of video gaming.
1982 LIFE Magazine photo by Enrico Ferorelli
International Video Game Hall of Fame
A group of local residents and industry pros are working together on the International Video Game Hall of Fame. To date, the Hall of Fame has inducted a number of distinguished leaders of the gaming industry as well as recognizing some of the most outstanding competitive players in the history of video games. There are plans in to works to someday have a museum where visitors can learn about the history of video gaming, discover Ottumwa's very special place in gaming history and see some of the amazing arcade machines on which world record high scores have been set.
The Legacy Continues...
The Ottumwa Video Game Task Force is a group with its eye on the future. They focus on bringing economic development opportunities to Ottumwa and the surrounding communities through the development and production of video games and mobile apps in Ottumwa and Southeast Iowa.