Video games: from the recreation room to the exhibition hall

Video games: from the recreation room to the exhibition hall

Three shows in Madrid and Barcelona take advantage of the popularity of video games to find new audiences and address their history and their impact on contemporary culture

In 1972, engineer Nolan Bushnell put an Arcade machine in a California bar to play Pong, his rudimentary video game in which two bars on both sides of the screen throw a ball. That same day the recreational was spoiled for so much use; at dusk they couldn’t move it because of the amount of coins in it. The world of video games has changed a lot since then: it has developed little by little, conquering the social, cultural and commercial fields. He has also advanced in the artistic. Several exhibitions give account of their growing cultural importance these days. Three samples coincide in Madrid and Barcelona that take advantage of the popularity of the medium to analyze video games from different perspectives.

It is not a trip to nostalgia, but an immersion in the context of the environment, says by an expert, the London Barbican Center and deputy curator of the game exhibition. The history of the video game, which tomorrow opens at the Foundation, in a few years there will be a lot of academic interest in this medium, and its history must be preserved.” Opened in 2002 in London, It has been renewed every year until it is the largest international exhibition on the video game. Before its arrival in Madrid it has already been seen by more than three million people, and consists of more than 150 games  from 1972 to the present) and 400 devices that attest almost to the archaeological vocation of the interactive world. Although Moran did not want it, the truth is that in game there is a lot of nostalgia.

The video game is a means of reference of the 21st century, emphasizes the curator. But it started in IT departments, not Humanities. That is why they were classified as a technological innovation rather than a cultural one, and they have been slow to reach museums.  Now the immense underground room of the Canal has become a kind of infinite recreation room, where the neon lights are mixed with the classic sounds of Mario Kart or Street Fighter II. It is an exhibition with an eminent playful nature: there are dozens of consoles for visitors to play. From the seventies to the desktop consoles, from New Mod Adds ‘Toss A Coin To Your Witcher’ To CD Projekt Red’s First Edition Of The Witcher, from Mario to Lara Croft, Game On List all the milestones in this half century of interactive history.

By volume of business in video games, Spain is the fourth European country and the ninth in the world. The sector holds 12,000 direct jobs and its benefits grow at an annual rate of 23%. In 2021 it will move 1.6 billion euros , the data is tiring but real: much more than cinema and music together. These figures also explain the growing interest of the academic field in this field.

The video game is an exploration laboratory for the arts. But it is much more than that: it is an art form in which authorship dilutes and is shared with who plays, says expert, a PhD in philosophy and curator of the Video Games exhibition , both sides of the screen , which since The end of September and until January 12 can be seen in the Foundation Space , also in Madrid.

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About the Author: Barry Lachey

Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources "Joe Joe." he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.