Either they turn our children into serial killers or they’re a lifeline for a generation. But as a fantastic new exhibition GAME ON shows, videogames are the great innovation of the late

20th century.

Words: Brian Donaldson


1’,‘ Oct 2002

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This crude stereotype conveniently ignores the fact that the ganies nujusuw'is ntnv a niUIU-biHion buck:earner (biggerthan thlywtuujit\;clanned).cnjoyed and obsessed over by'rnore duuijustythng winte nudes.\Qn. while you don't have to be under 30 to enjoy it. if you pass sanneone nithe sheet.rfleeding dunnbs and eye—sacks aplenty. chances are they’ll have been sprung sometime after the early 70s.

There were plenty of those vampiric types who filed in and out of London‘s Barbican Gallery this summer (and will undoubtedly do likewise at Edinburgh‘s Royal Museum this autumn) as Game On. the world’s first exhibition dedicated to the joy( pad) of games exploded into action. At nfid-hflayFsinedntlaunch.lng kidstncked and nnxed ntzi multi—coloured digital candystore as the interactive show ptdletltln:ni in. arotnid amid in) die intpressive levtfls. ()ver 12() games were there to be played. aside from some of the cranky old arcade machines which looked as though they’d cnnnbkrunderdu:wendntfllinew'50pconr

TTie installatnins ruire sigtts than recpiestetltisers to sample the wares for no more than ten minutes at a time. Forindivkhuds winispend halltheu‘nighusdesUXwing zombies and aliens. or swinging Arnold Palmer to glory and leaping Lara Croft to safety. this was an insult to their artificial intelligence. A corner preserved for a photography show. shooting individuals who expressed their love of games. was being almost entirely ignored as the draw of [)onkeyl(ongzuujtheinagneUsnitn’hdax Payneintnxxltoo much. With sections devoted to cinema's relationship to videogannngtniginalsketches.inarketnngtools.sound eflcctsznulgnunesinags.(Yunu’(hzisn'tjustaboutthe actual playing of ganies.[3ut diafs “Jiy petntk:vviH get excited about it.

The moments when it all went right for gamers are Illllilt3r()LlS. ll] l‘)fié<. i:tig;itit:t:r ‘Vk/illizitii {5t l-lig;iriliiitliztiti ()l”tlii: Brookhaven National Laboratory made a machine with a

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