“GAME” – the history of the video game
“GAME, the video game through time“, or the exhibition that makes you aware of the time that flies ! Seeing your teenager’s years bedroom in an art gallery is an undeniable sign that a few years have indeed gone by.
GAME is an exhibition that encompasses the history of the pixel video game. Gently nostalgic and regressive, reasonably geek, all in black and white, it is elegantly psychedelic: we have to make a special mention for the striped carpet curves, very “Polly Magoo” style !
The exhibition, featuring some sixty games, of which thirty open access, proposes to analyse the evolutions and the springs of this history, which started almost by chance more than 50 years ago. It also evaluates the contribution made by video games in various fields, such as computer science, pedagogy and advertising.
A Brief History of Video Games
The story of the very first game, “Tennis for two“, dates back to the 1950s. It also illustrates the entanglement and the diversity of skills and of objectives that were at the base of the games.
Its creator, William Higinbotham (1910-1994), was a physics engineer and an ardent defender of nuclear non-profiling. Member of a laboratory dedicated to this subject, he imagined, for an “open doors” operation in 1958, a game to distract visitors awaiting. Here was “Tennis for two”, the ancestor of the video game!
A few years afterwards, in 1962, a slightly more developed game, and a space flight simulator, “Spacewar! “, officially became the first video game.
Playing with it, Nolan Bushnell (born in 1943) had a revelation, which led to him founding Atari in 1972. He then designed the game “Pong” with Alan Alcorn, whose popular success will be resounding. From this game onwards, the history of this sector, and of entertainment, will never stop accelerating.
Incredibly enriched visually for decades, the video game represents in 2015 an industry of nearly 92 billion dollars, a turnover that exceeds that of the movie industry!
The GAME exhibition, in details
You can attend this exhibition, until the end of August 2017, with :
- Children, teenagers, parents, grandparents: all generations can benefit!
- No need to be expert or passionate about discovering this gallery, skilfully put into music by the journalist Jean Zeid, curator of the exhibition
- GAME will also interest people who love visual arts, pop art and advertising
What are the outcomes of GAME?
At the crossroads of technological innovation, gaming, design and adolescence, the video game has many things to tell us.
First, it is an incredible space for experimentation, and for expression. Its pioneers (engineers, writers, photographers …) are often precursors who have not found elsewhere than in video games a space where to express themselves. Video games allowed them to deploy universes to the height of their imagination, such as demonstrated by the career of Amy Hennig, who destined herself to writing and then to the movie industry, but who finally created the saga Unchartered.
Furthermore, video games are an extension of the playground. There is the spirit of fierce competition, the taste for friendly battles, and a “forbidden to adults” dimension.
Finally, and here we go again with the nostalgia that runs through this exhibition, the game is indeed a product of the 1960s/1970s. Its disheveled and colorful inventiveness are characteristic of those ingenuous years.
The exhibition could have been extended to the most recent years of this evolution, during which the images have not ceased to be perfect, to the point that the realism of some interest the photographers, and even some museums.
GAME is an original, humorous, inspired exhibition that offers a rather unique summary on a part of the recent history of the entertainment industry.
GAME, to the Fondation EDF until August 27, 2017 – 6, rue Récamier, 75007 (Sèvres-Babylone)
Free admission, from Tuesday to Sunday, from 12:00 to 7:00 (except bank holidays) – You can find here all the practical details
The tour will take you between half an hour and several hours, if you play!