Refreshed History of Video Games Exhibition Opens This Summer

Submitted by edg on Tue, 28 Nov '23 8.53am
Tekniska Museet - Game On

A major touring exhibition that charts the history of video games is returning to Edinburgh in the summer. 

In Game On, running from 29 June to 3 November 2024 at the National Museum of Scotland, visitors explore gaming's now not-so-brief history by playing over 100 games from the last 50 years, from Space Invaders to Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario to Minecraft.

Game On will open over 20 years after the National Museum of Scotland was its very first touring venue in October 2002. The exhibition's initial opening run was at the Barbican in London where it was  conceived and curated by Barbican Immersive. Over five million people of all ages, have visited the interactive exhibition in 24 cities around the world. Retro games draw a wide range of ages, as other video gaming exhibitions have found. 

Patrick Moran, Game On Associate Curator, says the exhibition shows the "undeniable social, cultural, and technological impact" that gaming has had on society as it's evolved from jagged pixels, minimalistic imagery and limited gameplay to today's life-like, rich, and addictive experience.

"The show features the largest playable collection in the world, including original arcade, handle hand, and console games, including Pac-Man, Super Mario, Tetris, Minecraft, Just Dance and FIFA," says Moran. 

"The exhibition also explores new advances in the gaming world. Highly interactive, all action, groundbreaking and popular, Game On is engaging for hardcore gamers and visitors new to the gaming, the show is suitable for players of all ages."

Dr Geoff Belknap, Keeper of Science and Technology at National Museums Scotland adds:

“It’s great to welcome Game On back to the National Museum of Scotland. As someone in charge of science and technology collections, it’s exciting to see the rapid changes in gaming technologies over the last 20 years reflected in this exhibition through objects which I used to have in my own living room.  The exhibition has been continually updated at each new touring venue since the early 2000s, when the show was first in Edinburgh, and so we look forward to bringing the story of video gaming right up to date here in Scotland, where the industry today is so vibrant.”

The exhibition is organised in thematic sections, inviting visitors to explore game design and technological parallels across the decades. The sections explore different types of gaming, from handheld to home console to arcade machines across a range of genres, as well as wider cultural aspects such as the links between gaming and both music and film.

The exhibition will be supported by a programme of public events.