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Announcing Evolution: The History of Gaming from its Roots to the Future

Jun 13, 2013 By Crissy Campbell

We’re excited to announce that during the summer of 2014 the Centre for Digital Media will be hosting Evolution, an exhibit that will explore the history of gaming from its roots to its future.

Evolution is a retro, indie and game-art exhibition that will celebrate 40 years of video games, with a special focus on the unique role Vancouver has played in the industry. 

Over 30 years ago a Burnaby teenager named Don Mattrick formed a small company called Distinctive Software and created a game called Evolution. Distinctive Software became the largest non-console game publishing company in the world and later sold and re-branded as the iconic Electronic Arts Canada. Electronic Arts’ subsequent rapid growth in the 90s solidified Vancouver’s role as an ongoing and leading force in the video-game industry.

Vancouver now has one of the top video game clusters in the world, with large game studios such as Electronic Arts, mobile game studios like IUGO Mobile, social/casual game studios like East Side Games, and indie game studios like Slick Entertainment and MDM alumni-created V7 Entertainment.

Centre for Digital Media is excited to celebrate Vancouver’s game industry, particularly now, while it’s in the midst of change. With companies focusing more on mobile games, social games and exploring new platforms, it’s an excellent time to look back on where the industry started and to look forward to where the industry is going.

The exhibition will run for a month, and feature interactive artistic installations, including large-scale outdoor game installations, urban geolocation games and large-scale crowd-based experiences. There will also be a speaker series and workshops—including independent game development, machinima, micro music, circuit bending, game jams and hackathons.

The event is free, with additional paid feature events. There will be activities aimed at all ages.

The event will include:

  • An exhibition of video games with a focus on the Vancouver scene.
  • Big-name speakers from the game industry.
  • A major exhibition and performance series presenting works around the evolution of gaming, in Vancouver and in an international context.
  • Co-exist alongside SIGGRAPH 2014
  • A program of machinima screenings— films designed using video game engines—and feature films influenced by video-game universes.
  • A program of evenings dedicated to micro music, video-game music and VJing influenced by the aesthetics of video games.
  • Retro games including Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Pac Man and Pong.

Evolution will be an exciting, unique event unlike anything Vancouver has ever seen, with events for game designers and developers, ‘hard core’ gamers, casual gamers, educators, students and families.

For information about sponsorship opportunities contact Dennis Chenard.

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