Arcade Backpack, UCLA Games Lab (Photo by Robin Baumgarten)
The V&A explores the world of videogames with an exhibition entitled Videogames: Design/ Play/ Disrupt. In one of the first exhibitions of its kind, it will consider how contemporary designers, players and critics are pushing boundaries in playful and radical new ways. The exhibition will take visitors into the creative process of developing games such as The Last of Us to Kentucky Route Zero, including original prototypes, early character designs and notebooks, will be shown alongside cultural inspiration from a Magritte painting to a viral cat video.
Winterfell, Westeroscraft. © Minecraft
From blockbuster titles produced by leading studios such as Splatoon from Nintendo, to independents such as Journey by thatgamecompany, the exhibition will show the craft and skill of creating ground-breaking videogame design. These examples will be presented alongside large-scale immersive multimedia and interactive installations from Minecraft to League of Legends and investigations of the social and political issues in the field, offering an insight into the design process, community and culture of videogames.
League of Legends, Worlds 2017. Riot Games.
The exhibition will explore videogame design since the mid-2000s, when major technological advancements, such as increased access to broadband, social media and newly available means of making, transformed the way games are designed, discussed and played. With at least 2.2 billion players worldwide, the reach and range of gaming will be examined within creative online player communities who modify games and create fan art; spectators and competitive performers at large scale esports stadium events and surprising spaces of the niche DIY arcade scene.
No Man’s Sky – ™/© 2016 Hello Games Ltd. Developed by Hello Games Ltd. All rights reserved
The exhibition celebrates the imagination and collaborative creativity shown by videogames players in real and virtual communities, transcending the role of the designer to democratise design on a vast scale. The double-height exhibition space in this section will feature a dramatic and immersive installation that explores the role of the player as co-creator. This will show the astonishing feats of engineering and construction undertaken in Minecraft from the recreation of the continent of Westeros in Game of Thrones to the mass spectacle of esports tournaments such as League of Legends World Championships. There will be examples of fan art and cosplay created by enthusiasts who interpret the medium in their own style and create costumes and accessories to represent themselves, or even their pets as characters.
The V&A actively collects digital design and is expanding its collection and explores how videogames as digital objects can be preserved and exhibited.
Videogames: Design/ Play/ Disrupt will run from 8 September 2018 – 24 February 2019 at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
For more information , visit the V & A website here
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