« Back To News + Media

Walk into the World of an 80s Teenager at Living Computers: Museum + Labs
March 8, 2018 – SEATTLE, WA
Living Computers: Museum + Labs is excited to announce their latest temporary exhibit, Totally 80s Rewind, opening March 15. With the cyclical nature of pop culture and the recent wave of films like Ready Player One and shows like The Goldbergs and Stranger Things, it’s never been clearer that the public yearns for throwbacks, nostalgia, and experiences from their youth. Whether it’s playing vintage computer games or listening to classic record albums, the meteoric rise of technology is what made the 1980s so transformative. From personal computers to answering machines and arcade cabinets to Walkmans, Living Computers set out to recreate a day in the life of an 80s teenager with Totally 80s Rewind.

Starting the journey at school, you walk into a classroom with state-of-the-art Apple ][e computers (courtesy of Apple’s “Kids Can’t Wait” promotion) and watch the overhead projector to learn how to program in BASIC. Top students might even get a chance to play Oregon Trail after they finish their assignments. Then, start exploring every nook and cranny to find all the hidden details: linoleum floor, plastic chairs, florescent lighting, cliché posters, stuffed lockers, pencils stuck to the ceiling, gum under the desks, and even a few “cootie catchers.”
Next up – school’s out! It’s time to grab your Powell skateboard and head down to The Bit Zone, your favorite local videogame arcade. Take a step inside as the sound of beeps and the glow of the screens transport you into a vibrant digital world. Switch out your month’s allowance for a handful of tokens and claim your turn. From Galaga to Centipede and Joust to Tempest – The Bit Zone leaderboards await.
The last stop of the day brings you to a friend’s basement, complete with wood paneled walls and lovingly shabby furniture. Plop down in front of the Nintendo hooked up to the console TV or mess with the TRS-80 Color Computer at the workbench. Rather listen to some tunes? Flip through the record collection, throw an LP on the turntable, and watch the “Color Organ” pulse with light. Then, pull the Simon down from the shelf to challenge your memory or complete with your friends in another epic game of Battleship before heading home.
To kick off the exhibit, Living Computers will be presenting another 21+ party extravaganza on March 24th at 7pm. Featuring an original DeLorean, live aerialists, 80s-themed karaoke, tabletop gaming, scavenger hunt and more – retro enthusiasts and pop culture aficionados won’t want to miss this epic throwback adventure. Living Computers will be hosting a members’ only exhibit preview on March 14th from 5-8pm and invite any press or media outlets to attend. Please contact press@livingcomputers.org for details.
Members’ Only + Press Exhibit Preview | March 14, 5pm
Totally 80s Rewind: The Exhibit Opens to the Public | March 15
Totally 80s Rewind: The Party | March 24, 7pm
Exhibit Closes (Tentative) | December 31
Living Computers: Museum + Labs (LCM+L) provides a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience with computer technology from the 1960s to the present. LCM+L honors the history of computing with the world’s largest collection of fully restored and usable supercomputers, mainframes, minicomputers and microcomputers. Learn more at livingcomputers.org. Come in. Geek out.