Game On is the first major international touring exhibition to explore the history and culture of computer games. The exhibition was first shown at the Barbican Centre in 2002 and has since been toured by Barbican International Enterprises to over 20 countries worldwide. It has been seen by over 2 million people across the globe.
The Barbican Centre is a performing arts centre in the Barbican Estate of the City of London and the largest of its kind in Europe. The Centre hosts classical and contemporary music concerts, theatre performances, film screenings and art exhibitions. It also houses a library, three restaurants, and a conservatory. The Barbican Centre is member of the Global Cultural Districts Network.
Focusing on key game developments from the early sixties to the present day, Game On explores gaming’s fascinating past and infinitely innovative future. From the PDP–1 in 1960 to contemporary industry releases, the exhibition examines the creative and scientific advances that have revolutionised the games we play.
The PDP-1 is the first computer in Digital Equipment Corporation's PDP series and was first produced in 1959. It is famous for being the computer most important in the creation of hacker culture at MIT, BBN and elsewhere. The PDP-1 is the original hardware for playing history's first game on a minicomputer, Steve Russell's Spacewar!
Game On reveals the design processes behind four of the most significant games of recent times: Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto, Pokémon and The Sims, following these games all the way from their initial concept to the final product design.
Tomb Raider, also known as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider between 2001 and 2007, is a media franchise that originated with an action-adventure video game series created by British gaming company Core Design. Formerly owned by Eidos Interactive, then by Square Enix after their acquisition of Eidos in 2009, the franchise focuses on a fictional British archaeologist Lara Croft, who travels around the world searching for lost artefacts and infiltrating dangerous tombs and ruins. The gameplay generally focuses around action-adventure exploration of environments, solving puzzles, navigating hostile environments filled with traps, and fighting numerous enemies. Additional media has grown up around the theme in the form of film adaptations, comics and novels.
Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is an action-adventure video game series created by David Jones and Mike Dailly; the later titles of which were created by brothers Dan and Sam Houser, Leslie Benzies and Aaron Garbut. It is primarily developed by British development house Rockstar North, and published by its parent company, Rockstar Games. The name of the series references the term "grand theft auto", used in the U.S. for motor vehicle theft.
Pokémon is a series of video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company as part of the Pokémon media franchise. First released in 1996 in Japan for the Game Boy, the main series of role-playing video games (RPGs), also referred as the "core series" by their developers, has continued on each generation of Nintendo's handhelds.
With over 150 playable games including Donkey Kong, Pong and Rock Band- as well as the top ten most influential consoles – the exhibition is a truly interactive experience. Games and consoles are constantly updated to ensure the exhibition is always reflective of current movements and trends.
Donkey Kong is a series of video games featuring the adventures of a gorilla character called Donkey Kong, conceived by Shigeru Miyamoto in 1981. The franchise consists mainly of two game genres, but also includes additional spin-off titles of various genres.
Pong is one of the earliest arcade video games. It is a table tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics. The game was originally manufactured by Atari, which released it in 1972. Allan Alcorn created Pong as a training exercise assigned to him by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell based the idea on an electronic ping-pong game included in the Magnavox Odyssey; Magnavox later sued Atari for patent infringement. Bushnell and Atari co-founder Ted Dabney were surprised by the quality of Alcorn's work and decided to manufacture the game.
Rock Band is a music video game developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games and distributed by Electronic Arts. It is the first title in the Rock Band series. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions were released in North America on November 20, 2007, while the PlayStation 2 version was released on December 18, 2007 and the Wii version on June 22, 2008. Harmonix previously developed the first two games in the Guitar Hero series, which popularized gameplay of rock music with guitar-shaped controllers. After development of the series was shifted to Neversoft, Harmonix conceived Rock Band as a new title that would offer multi-instrument gameplay.
Game On aims to highlight the wider, global framework of gaming, exploring the influence of manga and anime on computer games, as well as the films that have been influenced by, and continue to influence computer games. The exhibition further delves into the worlds of online gaming, music compositions for games, as well as the latest game technologies.
The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, was formed in 2006 with the merger of the new Museum of Scotland, with collections relating to Scottish antiquities, culture and history, and the adjacent Royal Museum, with collections covering science and technology, natural history, and world cultures. The two connected buildings stand beside each other on Chambers Street, by the intersection with the George IV Bridge, in central Edinburgh. The museum is part of National Museums Scotland. Admission is free.
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union (EU) for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong pan-European dimension.
Lille is a city at the northern tip of France, in French Flanders. On the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium, it is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region, the prefecture of the Nord department, and the main city of the European Metropolis of Lille.
In 2010, the original show Game On was re-curated by Barbican International Enterprises to expand the original exhibition and the exhibition Game On 2.0 was produced. Game On 2.0 has been exhibited at:
Super Mario Kart is a 1992 kart racing video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. The first game of the Mario Kart series, it was released in Japan and North America in 1992, and in Europe the following year. Selling 8.76 million copies worldwide, the game went on to become the fourth best selling SNES game of all time. Super Mario Kart was re-released on the Wii's Virtual Console in 2009, and on the Wii U's Virtual Console in 2013. Nintendo re-released Super Mario Kart in the United States in September 2017 as part of the company's Super NES Classic Edition.
Mario is a fictional character in the Mario video game franchise, owned by Nintendo and created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Serving as the company's mascot and the eponymous protagonist of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who resides in the Mushroom Kingdom, his adventures generally center upon rescuing Princess Peach from the Koopa villain Bowser. His younger brother and sidekick is Luigi.
Donkey Kong or DK is a fictional character who appears in games belonging to the Donkey Kong and Mario video game franchises. He is a gorilla and Mario's former nemesis. A popular character, DK has appeared in many video games, along with his nephew Diddy Kong. Donkey Kong appeared as Mario's first opponent in the game bearing the ape's name, Nintendo's popular 1981 arcade game, Donkey Kong. Since then he has starred in his own series of games, starting with sequel's of the arcade game and, later, 1994's Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). He remains an important character in the Mario series, such as the Mario Kart games. DK debuted at the same time as Mario, and he still appears with the plumber on occasion, appearing as a playable character in the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. series, and is the primary antagonist in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games that started in 2004.
Diddy Kong is a fictional character who appears in games belonging to the Donkey Kong and Mario video game franchises, debuting in the 1994 Donkey Kong series game, Donkey Kong Country. He is a young monkey who lives on Donkey Kong Island in the Kongo Jungle, and is identified by his red hat with the Nintendo logo on it, and his red shirt with stars on it. Diddy Kong is Donkey Kong's sidekick, best friend, and is described as his "nephew wannabe" in the Donkey Kong 64 manual. He has a girlfriend named Dixie Kong. He was originally created by Donkey Kong Country developer Rare as an updated version of Donkey Kong Jr., but he was renamed, due to Nintendo's response.
Nintendo Selects is a marketing label used by Nintendo to promote video games on current Nintendo game consoles that have sold well. Nintendo Selects titles are sold at a lower price point than other games. The program parallels other budget range software by Sega, Sony, and Microsoft to promote best-selling games on their consoles as well. In Japan, the discount label was introduced in 2015 for various Nintendo 3DS titles as the "Happy Price Selection," although South Korea adopted the Nintendo Selects name at an earlier period.
Donkey Kong Jr. is a 1982 platform video game by Nintendo. It is the sequel to Donkey Kong, which featured Mario as the hero and Junior's father as the villain; the roles are reversed here. It first appeared in arcades, and, over the course of the 1980s, was released for a variety of home platforms. The game's title is written out as Donkey Kong Junior in the North American arcade version and various ports to non-Nintendo systems.
Donkey Kong is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. An early example of the platform game genre, the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In the game, Mario must rescue a damsel in distress named Pauline, from a giant ape named Donkey Kong. The hero and ape later became two of Nintendo's most popular and recognizable characters. Donkey Kong is one of the most important games from the golden age of arcade video games as well as one of the most popular arcade games of all time.
Nintendo Fusion Tour was a touring rock music and video game festival sponsored by Nintendo, which began in 2003.
The Nintendo Player’s Guides are a series of video game strategy guides from Nintendo based on Nintendo Power magazine.
The Japanese multinational consumer electronics company Nintendo has developed seven home video game consoles and multiple portable consoles for use with external media, as well as dedicated consoles and other hardware for their consoles. As of September 30, 2015, Nintendo has sold over 722.22 million hardware units.
Sega All-Stars is a series of crossover video games featuring fictional characters from games developed or published by Sega. It consists of five games: Sega Superstars, Sega Superstars Tennis, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and SEGA Heroes.
New Play Control! is a series of GameCube titles ported over to the Wii by Nintendo. Games in the New Play Control! series feature a number of enhancements, most notably the implementation of Wii controls with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, as well as the inclusion of widescreen support and enhanced graphics.
Disney Universe is a co-operative action-adventure video game developed by Eurocom and published by Disney Interactive Studios. It was announced at E3 in 2011 and was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 on October 25, 2011 in North America and October 28, 2011 in Europe. It features the ability to suit up as characters from multiple Disney franchises, including Aladdin, The Lion King, Monsters, Inc., WALL-E, Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean, Phineas and Ferb, and The Muppet Show.
[This collection was published in association with the Game On exhibition]