Consoles and games! That’s what Musée de la civilisation has in store April 24, 2013, to April 6, 2014, with its Game Story exhibition, which explores this fun and fascinating universe from its origins. This is a fantastic opportunity for gamers and the uninitiated to play, explore, understand, have fun, talk, and share! Game Story is an exhibition adapted by Musée de la civilization from an idea by MO5.COM, in collaboration with Réunion des musées nationaux – Grand Palais, Paris. Presented by Ubisoft Quebec together with Bureau de la Capitale-Nationale, MusiquePlus, Beenox, Frima, and daily Le Soleil. Alcoa is a partner in all Musée de la civilisation programming.
From their origins as a hobby and recreational activity, video games have won over an ever-growing population of players and in the process become a form of cultural expression that bears comparison with film, literature, or music.
“Video games have radically altered the face of entertainment in recent decades. The video game market is now bigger than the film market. This shows how important video games have become to our culture. Over the last 25 years, Musée de la civilisation has explored many different aspects of Québec society through some of its passions, including song, TV shows, hockey, and comedy. As a ‘museum of society’, Musée de la civilisation had a duty to explore the world of video games as well, given its enormous social and cultural impact on Québec and around the world,” explained Musée de la civilisation executive director Michel Côté. “The Museum is able to present this exhibition to local audiences because we are very active within the international network of museums and we are always looking at what is happening around the world. That’s how we discovered the extensive experience and extraordinary collection of the French association MO5.COM headed by Philippe Dubois. Mr. Dubois is also curator of this exhibition, which was first presented at the Grand Palais in Paris,” he added.
CONSOLES, ACCESSORIES, AND GAMES TO PLAY
The Game Story exhibition features some 450 artifacts for visitors to enjoy, including video games, arcade games, accessories, posters, magazines, and film clips that have inspired video games—and vice versa. Nostalgia buffs have the opportunity to relive the good old days, and connoisseurs get a chance to experience the state of the art, with more than 88 classic systems available for play (Commodore 64, Atari, Sega Master System, Super Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive, PlayStation, Wii, Kinect, and more) as well as many equally classic and unforgettable games like Pong, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Rayman, Pokemon, Mario, Star Wars, Zelda, Tomb Raider, Virtua Cop, World of Warcraft, Frozen Bubble, Wii Sports, and Crysis 2.
This is a chance for the public to touch and play! Every era and genre is represented—science fiction, war, sports, fighting, fantasy, horror, action, adventure, and more.
A chronological journey
The exhibition is divided into seven main historical periods. Visitors begin with an introduction to video games from their earliest origins in 1950–1971. Subsequent periods are defined by technological or esthetic innovations or revolutions in graphics: 1. 1972–1977: Pong and its derivatives; 2. 1977–1983: The first color games; 3. 1983–1989: The era of design; 4. 1989–1994: Pixel art; 5. 1994–1999: The arrival of 3D; 6. 2000–2005: Sharper images; and 7. 2006–2013: High definition/retro games.
The exhibition concludes in a zone in the heart of the hall showing interviews with some of the key figures in the video games sector in Québec—Beenox, Sarbakan, Frima, and Ubisoft.
A brief history
Video games were born in the 1970s and they haven’t stopped growing and evolving since. Video games are animated images accompanied by sound and displayed on an interface, and each features its own style and feel of play, known as gameplay. Today video games have become synonymous with entertainment and are available on many platforms, including computers, consoles, arcades, and even smartphones.
Pong, the first video game widely available to the public, was released in 1972. The player simply turned a knob to move a paddle up and down. Today, players can use their entire bodies to play thanks to motion-sensing devices like the Kinect unit.
Early video games were in black and white. Color games didn’t appear until 1976. Before 3D design became possible in the mid-90s, all images were two-dimensional. Each technological innovation produced new games. There are many types of video games (e.g., sports, action, adventure, role-playing, puzzle, simulation, strategy) that are set in different worlds inspired by fantasy, fiction, sci-fi, history, culture, etc. Design has undergone a sea change, moving from simple pixel graphics to detailed, life-like images. Early attempts at 3D images were crude and heavily pixilated, but refinements over time have produced today’s high-resolution backgrounds and characters.
MO5.COM: Guardian of the world’s videogame heritage
This exhibition is presented thanks to the extensive experience and extraordinary collection of the French association MO5.COM. The MO5.COM journey began in 1996 with the launch of a website, which has since become a meeting place for gaming aficionados. Its mission is to preserve the world’s video game heritage, and more importantly to make it available. It draws its membership from all backgrounds— collectors, heritage conservationists, trade journalists, fanboys, engineers, teachers, researchers, students, and kids. The association uses this base to organize events and exhibitions exploring the history of computing and video games.
The collection MO5.COM has accumulated over the years is estimated to include over 50,000 items, making it the biggest in Europe. It includes home consoles, computers, arcade games, original demonstration models, old magazines, promotional items, and of course, a ton of video games—and the Game Story exhibition in Québec City lets visitors discover and play over 80 of them!
Play, explore, understand, and have fun in single player, two-player, multiplayer, or family mode!
Game Story, from April 24, 2013, to April 6, 2014, at Musée de la civilisation in Québec City. An exhibition you play! Adapted by Musée de la civilisation from an idea by MO5.COM, in collaboration with Réunion des musées nationaux – Grand Palais, Paris. Presented by Ubisoft Quebec together with Bureau de la Capitale-Nationale, MusiquePlus, Beenox, Frima, and daily Le Soleil. Alcoa is a partner in all Musée de la civilisation programming.
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