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Retro Video Game Exhibition Coming to Centre for Digital Media Summer 2014

Jun 03, 2014 By Crissy Campbell

A retro video game exhibition, featuring games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Space Invaders, is coming to the Centre for Digital Media this summer. The event, Evolution of Gaming, aims to celebrate the history of video games and Vancouver’s role in shaping the industry. 

Evolution of Gaming will feature lots of interactive, hands-on exhibits and will explore how games have shaped our culture, defined a generation and set the foundation for the games of today and tomorrow. The event will also highlight France’s unique role in the industry.

Free to the public, Evolution of Gaming runs August 1 – 10 in Centre for Digital Media’s Hangar. The admission is free, but space is limited, so you need to register. Register now.

There are 3 curators who are putting on the event—notable French games curator Isabelle Arvers, Emily Carr University and MDM faculty Malcolm Levy and MDM faculty Kimberly Voll.

“I'm so excited to be involved in Evolution as these early years of video games are in fact my early years, too,” says Kimberly Voll.

I've been playing video games my entire life, cutting my teeth on some of the very first game consoles. These systems may have been crude by today's standards, but for those of us who grew up in the arcades or with Ataris or ColecoVisions in our living rooms, they represented something groundbreaking, something special. In the digital world, anything was possible and it blew my young mind. I have spent my entire life studying how the brain works and how we interact with technology (and each other) because of my early fascination with video games.

When asked what she’s most excited about, Kim replies:

I'm the most excited about the interactivity of this exhibit.  This isn't your usual look-don't-touch museum-style exhibit—we're creating an awesome space for you to come out and share your memories and play with us, with your kids, and with your friends.

For me the exhibit isn’t just an awesome, hard-to-find collection of classics, it's an invitation to the community to come together to share something special. For many folks, like me, it's a chance to relive a special time in our lives and to reconnect with our roots, for newer generations, it's a chance to really see where video games got their start and where many of the popular icons and memes of today came from.

Vancouver’s Video Game History

Vancouver’s video game industry started over 30 years ago when a Burnaby teenager, Don Mattrick, started a small company called Distinctive Software and created a game called Evolution. Over the years, Distinctive Software became the largest non-console video game publishing company in the world and eventually sold and rebranded as Electronic Arts. Electronic Arts continued to grow throughout the 90s, causing Vancouver to become the large player in the video game industry that it is today.

Vancouver now has one of the top video game clusters in the world, with studios such as Electronic Arts, Bandai Namco, East Side Games, Roadhouse Interactive and MDM alumni-created V7 Entertainment.

France’s Video Game History

France is also one of the largest video game producers in the world and has been a major influence on video game history, producing games such as Assassin’s Creed, Raving Rabbids and Just Dance.

There are currently 300 video game companies in France, including giants like Ubisoft and Vivendi Games, as well as more than 31 million regular players, more than any other country in Europe.

The Consulate General of France is a major sponsor of the Evolution of Gaming and has been instrumental in supporting the event from the onset.

Evolution isn’t just about playing the classics, it’s a celebration of how and why video games came to capture our hearts, define our culture, and inspire multiple generations.

Free registration is now open to the public.

Evolution of Gaming Event Details

Dates: August 1–10

Location: 577 Great Northern Way, Vancouver BC

Admission: Admission is free, but space is limited. There are three time slots available per day for the public visits: 9 am–12 pm, 1 pm–4 pm and 5 pm–8 pm. There are 100 spots per time slot available. Register now. 

For more information visit: http://evolutionofgaming.ca/

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