Monday, October 30, 2006

Game On? “Shame on” more like…..

Yesterday, Graeme, the 3 Bedfordteers and I all went to the “Game On” exhibition at the Science Museum. An exhibition about the history of computer gaming? Sounds fab! The potential was amazing and the exhibition blurb played up to that potential.

When we first entered the exhibition there was a timeline of major milestones in computer gaming history. I was immediately aware that it was almost a timeline of my life, as home computing only took off during the early 1980s. I can remember the Amstrad, Spectrum, Commodore, BBC Micro and far too many other computers. Most of the games mentioned, I can remember being released. The geek inside me found this revelation pretty exciting. So far, so good.

Alongside all the games on display were large-scale artworks posing all sorts of questions and providing food for thought. However, that was as far as the exhibition went in terms of being thought provoking. There was so much opportunity to explore things like gaming and its impact on the body (increased reflexes but a potential for increased waistline too) but it was just wasted. I’d have loved to have learned more about game development and seen examples of game evolution. Something as simple as having all the Mario Bros games next to each other, so you could follow the improvements in graphics, would have been interesting to see.

Instead, there were just rooms filled with kids fighting over computer games, which didn’t even seem to be grouped in any logical way. It was impossible to get near some of the games, as considerate (note the sarcasm) parents tended to hog the games until their kid finished on one and came over to play the next one. Issues like violence and computer games were just brushed over, as were female gamers and female role models in computer games. I found it a bit insulting that the only mention female gamers got was next to the Sims feature. Don’t get me wrong I love the Sims but it’s not the only game I love. I also know plenty of blokes who love the Sims.

I just feel the whole thing was just entirely superficial and obviously aimed at capturing the kids at half-term. The only thought-provoking the exhibition did was with regards to how it could have been improved.

Shame on you, Science Museum, I expected much better.


Anonymous Graeme said...

Especially considering it was £8.50 per person. We would all have been better off just spending our money on an old console and a copy of Street Fighter 2!

9:10 pm  

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