The video gaming industry is worth billions of dollars and a southeast Iowa town wants to cash in on everything from the latest games all the way back to Pac Man. Ottumwa Mayor Dale Uehling will be helping unveil plans today for what will be called the International Video Game Hall of Fame and Museum.
"We’re very hopeful that we can become the video gaming capitol of the world," the mayor says.
The facility is still in the planning stages but he says some enthusiasts foresee the interactive museum and global video game top score registry as being a $30 to 50 million investment.
"We need to get a comprehensive study done on exactly what is needed," the mayor says, which includes the option of taking several buildings downtown to devote to this proposal or perhaps a new facility is what would work best.
A steering committee of more than 35 people includes representatives from city, county and state governments, as well as Ottumwa merchants and citizens. The mayor says it’s still very much a work in progress, with much exciting potential.
"Part of this will depend on what is the attraction going to be?" Uehling says. "We visualize that we would have international competition here as a part of this so we need something that’s going to have some capacity."
More information will be revealed on the proposed facility at 1 p.m. today at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.