The history of the first mass media of digital culture as a technological and commercial career reaches several museums to analyze its powerful cultural legacy

What is the most successful exhibition of the 21st century? Like any data-based question, the answer depends on how it is measured, but one of the clearest candidates is titled Game On and has been in the Canal de Madrid Foundation for a few weeks. For no less than 18 years, this exhibition on the history, genres and forms of the video-game has traveled more than 20 cities, updating its contents periodically, in an endless tour that is the dream of every curator resigned to the ephemeral nature of the environment. of the temporary exhibition.

On May 16, 2002, the Barbican Center in London started this project and became the pioneer cultural institution to open its doors to the first mass media of digital culture. With this, a genre is also invented, the exhibition that asks whether video games already officially deserve the treatment of culture. Dozens of samples around the world have asked themselves this question in the last two decades, and three of them are now open simultaneously in Spain. There are multiple reasons that justify the progressive museization of video games and the fascination that arouse in more and more cultural institutions. Forty-seven years after Pong’s first machine was turned on in a San Jose bar, in the heart of Silicon Valley, his sentimental memory spans up to four generations, from the youngest among the baby boomers to the first natives of the touchscreens. In addition, it would be unrealistic to draw accounts of contemporaneity without taking into account an industry with such force that for eight years it has been moving more money each season than that of cinema and music combined.

At the starting point of almost all the projects that have been dedicated to this territory there is the same argument, an idea that has been the subject of passionate debates: that video games can no longer be seen only as a humble form of unpretentious leisure, and It is their turn to receive the treatment reserved for the most complex and ambitious cultural production fields. Creative Minds Behind God Of War Want To Showcase The Backstory of Kratos After God Of War 3, Including How He Met Faye. The hypothesis has had furious opponents, such as the legendary American film critic Roger Ebert, who at the end of his life raised the idea that, by definition, the playful structure of a game, with its rules, challenges and rewards, made the artistic experience The discussion is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future, but in the meantime, in 2012 and 2013, 20 video games became part of the permanent collection – through, yes, from the door of the design and architecture department. The list includes the predictable foundation classics(Pacman, Space Invaders), but also more unknown titles that have expanded the vocabulary and aesthetics of digital gaming, such as Myst, the classic graphic adventure that first proposed a more meditative and atmospheric gaming experience than stimulating.

Video Game Culture It also includes a detailed tour of the main landmarks of the medium along with its social and political readings, and incorporates multiple mentions to the rich history of the Spanish video game. But the most interesting thing about the exhibition is its commitment to visualize a new canon that has taken shape in recent years and tells a different story of its possibilities and realities at this time. Independent and risky titles such as Passage, ICO, Journey or Kata Mary Damacy, or Paolo Pedercini’s protest games, do not have the widespread recognition of a Mario Bros, but without them it is not possible to understand the multiple dimensions of the game today.

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