Game On was established as a touring exhibition to educate visitors on the history of video games and their cultural value. It focuses on developments going back to 1962, beginning with the Programmed Data Processor-1 (PDP-1), which was the original hardware for the world’s first video game, to present day releases. The exhibit includes over 150 playable games including Space Invaders, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Rock Band as well as the ten most influential consoles. The first event was held at the Barbican Center in the U.K. in 2002, and it has attracted over two million visitors so far. This year, Game On is coming to Japan for the first time.
The Miraikan, also known as the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, is bringing the exhibition to Tokyo from the beginning of March through May. The focus topic will be “Why are videogames so interesting?” Miraikan wants visitors to think about the social and cultural impact of computer games, especially as they are becoming ever more integrated into our world and our future.
Visitors to the Tokyo exhibit will be able to sample over 120 examples from the history of video games. The video from The Japan Times shows Pong, Computer Space, Missile Command, Marble Madness, Doom and Animal Crossing. There is also a special version of a classic: Space Invaders Taitan, which was designed by Roger Dean, who worked on album covers for the English rock band Yes. Various titles from the early days of gaming to the present will be grouped into eight stages that show the evolution of gaming technology. This will include console, PC, and mobile games. There will also be opportunities to sample virtual reality games, particularly PlayStation VR.
The final stage was designed specifically for Tokyo, and features a digital replica of Miraikan rendered in the Minecraft world. Players can hunt for treasure in the game as well as partake in other Minecraft workshops.
Miraikan will explore what fascinates us about video games, what makes them so addicting, and how the games developed. Interviews with experts from various fields and with passionate gamers will reveal what games mean to those who know them best. And a variety of media, including a “giant history wall” will present further visual opportunities for knowledge.