Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Science Fiction Museum

I've been wanting to visit Seattle's Science Fiction Museum since it opened in 2004, and when our friends Scott and Tracey were visiting the Pacific Northwest, we decided that hitting that museum was something that needed to be done.

I wasn't overly impressed.

It's been almost a week since we were there, and I find myself going back and forth on the experience - we were a little tired and had a few other events on our schedule the day we visited the museum. That said, it's a science fiction museum, so I expected a certain level of technology, interactivity, immersion, etc., that was definitely lacking. The Science Fiction Museum is attached to the Experience Music Project which does offer its visitors an opportunity to play instruments, record music, etc., but the Science Fiction Museum really just seemed to encourage its visitors to stand around and watch.

Additionally, the sci-fi side of things felt like an afterthought, crammed into a few small rooms (one of which was downstairs, as in, in the dark basement), which made sense as the Experience Music Project was there first (the Science Fiction Museum was added four years after the EMP opened in 2000). I went to this museum wanting to learn something, to celebrate science fiction and its importance to culture (pop and otherwise), and feel appreciated as a fan. I didn't get that. I felt a little pandered to, passing by displays of toys that I had when I was a kid, books I've already read, and fewer movie props than I've seen at a Planet Hollywood.

I took plenty of pictures, and we noted a handful of post-apocalyptic fiction book titles for Bren to track down, but in the end, I wished there would have been more science fiction meat (says the vegetarian). It felt fluffy, and while it may have been entertaining to see "The Jetsons" and Blade Runner mentioned in the same "look at what the future might be"-type display, in the end I was disappointed.

(Speaking of pictures, there were zero real photo opportunities at the Science Fiction Museum. I understand restricting flash photography in the dimly lit basement, but I was really surprised that there was nothing really interesting to take pictures of in the lobby or any areas set up to memorialize a visit to the museum.)

I'm glad I went with the folks I went with to the museum - that really made the trip worth it. But I wonder if we would have had as much science fiction fun just going through my DVD collection.

(These pics are in no particular order, and I apologize for any fuzziness that might have crept into them. The lack of a flash made picture-taking a little more difficult than it would have normally been.)



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