Evan Amos

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Evan Amos and the Wikipedia Effect, 2016

Evan Amos (born 1983)[1] is a video gaming photographer of high-quality stock photography of video game consoles, which he releases into the public domain. Known for contributing these images to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, Amos is as of 2015 working on The Vanamo Online Game Museum,[2] a free digital archive of video game hardware.[3] As of 2018, Amos resides in Brooklyn, New York City.[1]


The first picture of a gaming console Amos took for Wikipedia was the above picture of the Wii.

Being "annoyed" at the poor quality of images of video game consoles on Wikipedia, Amos decided to document these systems before they were "forgotten in time." Starting in 2010 with Nintendo's Wii console, which he happened to own, Amos soon "felt addicted" and started a list of every console he could think of. After putting up an ad on Craigslist, Amos came into contact with a collector in Huntington, Long Island, where he was able to photograph a collection of various consoles starting with those from Sega and Atari. He has expressed "surprise" at the increasing popularity of his freely licensed photos among print, television, Internet, and other media – though he is still rarely credited for them.[4][5]

There is a huge need for this. There is no one else trying to provide this service at this level, at this quality, at this reach (Wikipedia) and in a format (public domain) that will ensure that these photos will last for decades from now. The work that I've already created and its impact thus far is a testament to the importance of the project. These are the reasons why I do this work, and why I do it for free.

— Evan Amos, 2013[4]

After purchasing and photographing video game consoles, Amos donates them to the New York University Game Center and the National Museum of Play, where he is allowed to access them at any time if he needs to re-shoot them.[5]

Amos has also taken and added pictures of fast food items and candy onto Wikipedia, noting that he is a "horrible eater".[6]


In 2013, Amos raised US$17,493 through a Kickstarter campaign to purchase more hardware. His goal is to build the Vanamo Online Game Museum, an online archive of video game hardware in order to preserve the history of video games.[7][8] In addition to photographs, the Vanamo Online Game Museum is intended to include an extensive history of each console and its development.[9]

On November 6, 2018, Amos released a book published by No Starch Press, titled The Game Console: A Photographic History from Atari To Xbox, in which he showcases various video game consoles, their hardware, and some of their history throughout the generations.[10][11][12]

Selected works[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "User:Evan-Amos/AboutMe – Wikimedia Commons". commons.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  2. ^ "User:Evan-Amos - Wikimedia Commons". commons.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  3. ^ North, Dale (2013-03-11). "Evan Amos is gaming's most popular photographer". Destructoid.
  4. ^ a b Amos, Evan (2013-10-29). "The power of Wikipedia: How I became gaming's most popular and anonymous photographer". Gamasutra.
  5. ^ a b Larson, Eric (2013-11-10). "Introducing the Invisible Photographer Whose Photos Are Everywhere". Mashable.
  6. ^ ""It's incredible that history decays almost immediately": Evan Amos and the Vanamo Online Game Museum – Wikimedia Blog". blog.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  7. ^ TraceyLien (2013-10-31). "Preserving video game history one photo at a time". Polygon.
  8. ^ "The Vanamo Online Game Museum Kickstarter campaign". Kickstarter.
  9. ^ Hockenson, Lauren (2013-11-01). "See a Wikipedia photographer's Kickstarter campaign for an online video game museum". Gigaom.
  10. ^ "The Game Console | No Starch Press". nostarch.com. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  11. ^ Amos, Evan (2018-11-06). The Game Console: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox (1st ed.). No Starch Press. ISBN 9781593277437.
  12. ^ Fahey, Mike. "An Outstanding Book For People Who Like Looking At Video Game Consoles". Kotaku. Retrieved 2018-11-16.


External links[edit]

  • Media related to Evan-Amos at Wikimedia Commons