The evolution of video gaming, brought to life

The evolution of video gaming began with a bunch of pixelated ghosts, cherries, and a certain spherical hero ... photo by CC user OpenClips on pixabay

Why can’t video games be likened to the development of printmaking?” says Eff Harrison, the man behind the new exhibit that’s going to open our eyes and quite probably make us feel very old.

The video games expert has created his own exhibit to chronicle the exciting evolution of an industry which has changed almost immeasurably over the last three decades. The Art of Video Games will be on display from May at Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum of Art, and has been impressing audiences since it was inaugurated at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington.

So what kind of journey can visitors expect to embark upon with the exhibit? For one, it will be entirely modern – it is the first of its kind to rely completely on electricity alone. What ensues however is an epic trip down Memory Lane, starting in part one, which features interviews with the artists about their inspirations.

The creators behind 80s phenomenon Pac-Man are seen speaking about their inspirations in part one, followed by those who produced Super Mario Bros, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst and Flower. Viewers will be able to have an insight into the games’ history via the medium of huge widescreen televisions, representing individual eras in video game development.

We did it in an arcade way,” says Harrison. “It’s different from a standard show where you have an idea developed sequentially. We opened up the space and let people explore.”

In the final part, viewers will be treated to a 40-year trajectory of gaming across 20 different mediums, including the old school 80s Atari VCS and the modern day PlayStation 3. The 80 games represented were chosen from a list of 240, which were voted for by 119,000 people in 175 countries.

It’s certainly an interesting approach to take to the evolution of video gaming, particularly given how much the world of online gaming has evolved. The enhanced graphics at alone showcase just how far this genre has come, but if there is anything that the exhibit proves, it’s that video gaming is not going to go away for a while.

Harrison likes to remind us of this in his final statement: “There’s no denying the hands-on appeal of video games. They’re fast-paced and instantaneous, but as the player’s eye becomes more sophisticated, video games are presenting that more sophisticated eye with a more sophisticated art form.”

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