In addition to being the home of a board game-bar, the Portland-area, as far as we know, is home to the only museum in the country that explicitly focuses on board games and puzzles.
The Interactive Museum of Gaming and Puzzlery first opened a little over four years ago in Beaverton. The museum includes thousands of board games and puzzles along with an interactive area where patrons can try new and old games.
Now, after an employee’s battle with lung disease, and a struggle for adequate funding from government agencies, the museum has made a successful move to King City, 30 minutes southwest of Portland to a larger location, allowing for more interaction, more elaborate displays and new concepts, including a library for board game rentals.
"We have more space. In addition to the new museum space, we are also working on a new archive space. We've got a lot more games and we want a lot more tables for people to play at," says co-steward of operations Kyle Engen.
Engen and Mathewson faced the typical challenges of a small museum, like inadequate funding, reduced patronage and fading government funding. But they also dealt with more specific difficulties; co-founder Carol Mathewson was diagnosed with life-threatening empyema.
"It was a very scary time" says Carol Mathewson, steward of operations, "We didn't know what was going to happen to me, what was going to happen to the museum."
Thankfully, Mathewson underwent a successful surgery and is feeling better than she has in years.
To celebrate the turn in health and successful move, the museum is launching a grand re-opening party, a 24-hour Raffle and Game-a-thon, featuring games from giant chess to dungeons and dragons. Engen says the event is,"like a jog-a-thon– you earn money for the museum as you play. It's serious for us, but light for most of the gamers." Thrag II is will last for 24 hours starting at noon on Saturday, October 21. The museum's new location is 15607 SW 116th Ave King City.