Disney’s hilarious arcade-game-hopping adventure “Wreck-It Ralph” will be getting red-carpet treatment in the Video Game Capital of the World, as the Mayor of Ottumwa issues a PROCLAMATION, declaring Friday, November 2, 2012, to be “Wreck-It Ralph Day” in Ottumwa, Iowa.
The Proclamation will be unveiled by Mayor Frank Flanders during ribbon-cutting and cake-cutting ceremonies at the Ottumwa 8 Theatre, on Thursday, November 1 at 11:15 p.m. The event will be attended by many of Ottumwa’s civic, societal and business leaders, as well as by video game fans from around the region.
Mayor Flanders said, “Ottumwa has long been a cultural crossroads for the global video game culture and it’s important for the City of Ottumwa to lend public support to Disney’s creative efforts to produce an animated film that uplifts and nourishes the human spirit as well as celebrates the video game industry’s positive contributions to society.”
Famous for being one of the few municipalities in the world that supports the worldwide video game culture, Ottumwa asks that its Citizens celebrate this Day of Civic Observance, appreciating ”Wreck-It Ralph” as a film that champions the positive, uplifting aspects of the global video game culture through a warm-hearted, family oriented film. “This may be the only instance in the world of a City celebrating a video game movie premiere on an official civic level,” said Walter Day, Twin Galaxies Founder and member of the board of directors of the International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum.
Known for its unique video game legacy, Ottumwa is considered the birthplace of organized video game playing. The city was the site of a legendary photograph published in LIFE Magazine in January, 1983, that captured on film a gathering of history’s first video game superstars. And, in January, 1983, ABC-TV’s “That’s Incredible” filmed history’s first video game world championship in Ottumwa.
In addition to being the birthplace of organized gaming, Ottumwa was the original hometown of the Twin Galaxies Scoreboard and the US National Video Game Team, two organizations founded in the early 1980s that still exist today.
In 2010, the Citizens of Ottumwa launched a project to create the official International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum in Ottumwa, a project still under development. Ottumwa’s history as a cultural crossroads for the global video game culture has been the subject of many feature documentary films, among them: “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” and “Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade.”
On November 30, 1982, Ottumwa Mayor Jerry Parker declared Ottumwa the Video Game Capital of the World. On March 19, 1983, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad joined Atari Games and the Washington, DC-based Amusement Game Manufacturers Assn. (AGMA) in Ottumwa, Iowa to declare the city the “Video Game Capital.”