Well, I guess it's about time that I gave some specifics...
The definition from our homepage says:
"The Origin Museum is an archive of Origin and Origin-related games and collectibles, designed as a resource for collectors, and as a display forum for all things Origin. "
What started as a simple webpage to display our game collection has become a full-fledged Museum to save the history and artifacts of Origin Systems, makers of some of the greatest titles of the 'Golden Age of Gaming'.
I've never worked for Origin--I'm just a fan, like you. Also like you, I spent much of my free time playing computer/video games. I'd noticed sometime around 1989 that many of the titles I thought were the best were ALL from the same company--Origin. I made it my personal goal there and then to own every game that Origin ever made. The ball started rolling, and hasn't stopped since.
But what we are specifically are preservationists. With the quick maturity of the games industry in the past 20 years, there is a danger of these items disappearing, and with them, a piece of history. I feel that someday soon, folks will want to look back on gaming's beginnings, and they won't find much--aside from the games themselves. One of the things that made Origin 'stand out' was the methods they used to draw the player into the game worlds they created. Cloth maps, backstory documentation, trinkets, were almost always added to the box to give the player more of a sense of 'being there' than just popping in a cartridge.
The games themselves will survive, but noone ever thinks about saving the rest. This was (in my opinion) the difference between making a game, and 'Creating Worlds', and that's how it all started!
We also collect and preserve aspects from the production and advertising of these games. Documentation, artwork, and props are another part of keeping alive the fascinating world of Origin, when gaming was in it's hey-day. Some of the artifacts in the collection have been referred to as 'items representing specific turning points in gaming history'. I like to think that a few of our items are similar to Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, or a Phaser from Star Trek--items that mark the times, and give an interesting perspective to a small segment of gaming history.
Joe Garrity Curator of the Origin Museum