French gaming enthusiasts are gearing up to establish the world’s largest video game museum, The Odyssey Project, near the renowned Disneyland Paris. Inspired by the Magnavox Odyssey, the first-ever console created in 1972, this ambitious initiative will showcase one of the most extensive collections of games ever assembled. Spearheaded by Ludovic Charles, an avid collector with 2,200 consoles, and Benoit Theveny, a popular YouTuber known as Tev, the project aims to provide an immersive experience for visitors while celebrating the evolution of video games.
Ludovic Charles, now 49 years old, commenced his video game collection two decades ago. Over the years, he has meticulously acquired every imaginable version of gaming systems, including Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft. However, his desire to establish a museum to showcase these treasures has always been the driving force behind his collecting efforts. Speaking to AFP from his warehouse in southern France, Charles expressed his eagerness to share his vast collection with the world, stating, “I do not want them to sit pointlessly on the shelves any longer.” His ultimate goal is to provide an exhaustive overview of the history and development of video games.
Theveny, who resides in Tokyo, joins forces with Charles to bring the vision of an all-encompassing video game museum to life. Renowned for his YouTube videos on Japanese and geek culture, Theveny wholeheartedly believes that video games deserve to be recognized as a vital part of our culture. He emphasizes the inclusivity of the museum, inviting individuals of all ages to experience the joy of video gaming. From young children engrossed in Minecraft to older generations who reminisce about the early days of Pong, the project aims to bridge the gap between different age groups and foster a sense of unity.
The museum, named “Projet Odyssee” in French, is set to be located in Bussy-Saint-Georges, an eastern suburb of Paris near Disneyland Paris. Fueled by the success of their crowdfunding campaign, which has already raised over one million euros, Charles and Theveny are confident in their ability to make the project a reality. To ensure the lasting success of the museum, they have drawn lessons from previous attempts in France that had a less fortunate outcome. Instances such as the closure of the Pixel Museum in Strasbourg and the short-lived museum of video games in La Defense serve as valuable lessons on what works and what doesn’t. With the unwavering support of the local mayor, who is actively involved in an e-sports project within the same complex, The Odyssey Project is poised for triumph.
Construction for the museum and entertainment village is slated to commence in 2025, with an expected opening in the subsequent year. The project aims to create an immersive and interactive experience for visitors, allowing them to explore the rich history of video games while embracing the cultural significance they hold. By providing a platform that recognizes video games as more than just entertainment, The Odyssey Project strives to secure their place in the annals of our shared cultural heritage.
The Odyssey Project promises to revolutionize the way we perceive and engage with video games. As the world’s largest video game museum, it will serve as a testament to the passion and dedication of Ludovic Charles and Benoit Theveny, who have worked tirelessly to bring their dream to fruition. By creating a space where individuals of all ages and backgrounds can come together to celebrate gaming history, The Odyssey Project aims to solidify the position of video games as an integral part of our cultural tapestry. As we eagerly await the opening of this groundbreaking museum, it is safe to say that the world of video games will forever be changed by The Odyssey Project’s realization.