The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
User avatar
TheMADEgames
Newbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:17 pm

Games in a Museum setting

by TheMADEgames Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:28 pm

Hey, all.

I'm working on curating an exhibit for a small indie game museum, and we're trying to set up a few ideas for exhibitions featuring games that showcase games as a legitimate art medium. So far, we've had a few showcases, including 3D games over the years, games that reflect more established art genres (Cubism, watercolor, Impressionism, etc.) and games featuring music as a gameplay element (DDR, Guitar Hero, etc.)

What are some other ideas you guys might have? If you were a serious patron to a playable games museum, and were interested in checking out an exhibit, what would you like to see, and what exhibits and concepts would you like to see? I would love to see what input you guys can offer, and if you're ever around the SF Bay Area, check us out!

The MADE
User avatar
dsheinem
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 23047
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:56 pm
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania

Re: Games in a Museum setting

by dsheinem Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:46 pm

Is this your museum? http://themade.org/ What is your role there?

If it is, did you know we just had a post about your place?

In any case, it looks like a cool place to check out if one is in the area, and it is good to hear you have big plans for it. As for ideas for exhibits, you might do well to look at what different places have had success with globally (e.g. the Smithsonian Art Museum, the Vigamus in Rome, the Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, or the new Huis Ten Bosch Game Museum in Tokyo) for some cues. I'd think an exhibit where people could do things like this would be cool:

A) create some small piece of art in a design engine (e.g. a quick 10-20 minute workshop in 3D modeling or pixel art)

B) try out stations with various games that let you create art in them (e.g. Mario Paint)

C) see comparisons of original concept art (perhaps supplied by studios) to finished designs while listening to audio/video of artists discussing their work

D) a station where players play through various iterations of the same game to experience its evolution (e.g. view and play a game from sketches and models>pre-alpha>alpha>beta>demo>retail>patches>enhanced versions>community mods in the span of ~10 minutes or so)

E) occasional live performances of video game music or game-related musicians (e.g. a show by The Protomen or a quartet performance of an OST, etc.)

Anyway, those are a few off the top of my head. I'm happy to chat more here or via PM, just let me know.
User avatar
Key-Glyph
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1674
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:38 am

Re: Games in a Museum setting

by Key-Glyph Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:26 pm

dsheinem wrote:C) see comparisons of original concept art (perhaps supplied by studios) to finished designs while listening to audio/video of artists discussing their work

E) occasional live performances of video game music or game-related musicians (e.g. a show by The Protomen or a quartet performance of an OST, etc.)
I want to second these. What I'm most interested in from a video game perspective is 1) why they were significant for their time, 2) what the stories are behind the way they were made and the people who made them, and 3) the music.

In regards to the first, for example, I love hearing about how hardware limitations had a direct hand in the trajectory of a game, especially if the result is something that was considered a killer feature or a really clever bend of the available resources. The Shadow Man in the original Prince of Persia comes to mind -- Jordan Mechner thought he had run out of room to program a new enemy with new behaviors, and he didn't want to recycle the Prince's movements into a different sprite because he thought of them as being too unique in personality -- and bam, he applied a palette swap and gained the narrative's compelling twist.

For the second, I love hearing about the relations the people working on it had with each other -- who was responsible for what department, who came up with some amazing idea, the fact that they all played D&D in the main boardroom on the weekend, and so on. Understanding how the group effort came together, and what people went through to succeed, is fascinating and important.

And for the third, you can apply it to paragraphs one and two and make it its own focus. I would be over the moon if an exhibit were created to demonstrate each console, its available channels and waveforms (maybe even in a hands-on mixer situation you could work with yourself?), its limitations (how tempo used to be tied to refresh rate, for example), samples of chiptunes that made use of certain techniques (I've heard the composer Matt Furniss explain how he was able to "simulate chords" in one channel on the Genesis, and if this could be broken out for me in a display, that would be so awesome), and/or actual profiles on the composers behind the works.
Image
BogusMeatFactory wrote:If I could powder my copies of shenmue and snort them I would
User avatar
CRTGAMER
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 11933
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:59 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Games in a Museum setting

by CRTGAMER Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:38 pm

TheMADEgames wrote:So far, we've had a few showcases, including 3D games over the years, games that reflect more established art genres (Cubism, watercolor, Impressionism, etc.) and games featuring music as a gameplay element (DDR, Guitar Hero, etc.)

What are some other ideas you guys might have? If you were a serious patron to a playable games museum, and were interested in checking out an exhibit, what would you like to see, and what exhibits and concepts would you like to see? I would love to see what input you guys can offer, and if you're ever around the SF Bay Area, check us out!

The MADE

Nice exhibit! The art is fine, but you might want to mainly emphasize the best features of the older systems?

1. Games of a forgotten Genre that really shined on a given system, look especially for Hidden Gems (have the game running) for the public to discover.

2. Controls that are pretty much forgotten such as the Trakball and Spinner and what games that work well with it. As for that Spinner not just Pong, look into games such as Tac Scan and Omega Race for the Arcade and on the 2600; Indy 500, Warlords and Kaboom. I bet most people walking in the door will get a kick out of discovering the two player Indy Car tag game or the four player Warlords game.

3. History aspect such as the Video Game crash and how the various 8 bit computers and the NES reviving the market. Maybe it was the 8 bit computer that contributed to the crash?
Image
CRT vs LCD - Hardware Mods - HDAdvance - Custom Controllers - Game Storage - Wii Gamecube and other Guides:
CRTGAMER Guides in Board Guides Index: http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1109425#p1109425

Image
Image
User avatar
dsheinem
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 23047
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:56 pm
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania

Re: Games in a Museum setting

by dsheinem Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:42 pm

CRTGAMER wrote:
TheMADEgames wrote:So far, we've had a few showcases, including 3D games over the years, games that reflect more established art genres (Cubism, watercolor, Impressionism, etc.) and games featuring music as a gameplay element (DDR, Guitar Hero, etc.)

What are some other ideas you guys might have? If you were a serious patron to a playable games museum, and were interested in checking out an exhibit, what would you like to see, and what exhibits and concepts would you like to see? I would love to see what input you guys can offer, and if you're ever around the SF Bay Area, check us out!

The MADE

Nice exhibit! The art is fine, but you might want to mainly emphasize the best features of the older systems?

1. Games of a forgotten Genre that really shined on a given system, look especially for Hidden Gems (have the game running) for the public to discover.

2. Controls that are pretty much forgotten such as the Trakball and Spinner and what games that work well with it. As for that Spinner not just Pong, look into games such as Tac Scan and Omega Race for the Arcade and on the 2600; Indy 500, Warlords and Kaboom. I bet most people walking in the door will get a kick out of discovering the two player Indy Car tag game or the four player Warlords game.

3. History aspect such as the Video Game crash and how the various 8 bit computers and the NES reviving the market. Maybe it was the 8 bit computer that contributed to the crash?


Did you read the OP? They're looking for suggestions about art-related exhibits, not about your pet interests...
User avatar
J T
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 12420
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:21 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Games in a Museum setting

by J T Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:43 pm

A playable games exhibit is a tricky thing because most games require a substantial amount of time to appreciate their artistry. I can't see playing through all of Shadow of the Colossus at a museum, for example. Even with an instantly gratifying game, you don't want some patrons of the museum to sit at one machine for hours, thus preventing others from appreciating the exhibit. It would also be useful to list info like "estimated time to complete" on the exhibit, so people know what they are getting into, like when you see video in an art gallery and it tells you that it's on a loop for 7 minutes or something like that.

Here's a few games that have some artistic merit and can still be appreciated on a short time frame:

Proteus by Ed Key and David Kanaga
The Graveyard by A Tale of Tales
Every Day The Same Dream by Molle Industria
Mondo Medicals by Cactus (part of his arcade collection)
Facade by Procedural Arts
Proun by Joost van Dongen
Gridrunner Revolution by Jeff Minter aka Llamasoft
The Stanley Parable by Galactic Cafe (or the short original mod)
Passage by Jason Rohrer
I Fell In Love With the Majesty of Colors by Gregory Weir
Osada by Amanita Designs
Solace by Jordan Hemenway, Daniel Rosas, Robert Francis, and Jami Lukins
TRIP by Alex Shokk
SoundSelf by Robin Arnott
Last edited by J T on Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
My contributions to the Racketboy site:
Browser Games ... Free PC Games ... Mixtapes ... Doujin Games ... SotC Poetry
User avatar
TheMADEgames
Newbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:17 pm

Re: Games in a Museum setting

by TheMADEgames Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:02 pm

dsheinem wrote:Is this your museum? http://themade.org/ What is your role there?

If it is, did you know we just had a post about your place?

In any case, it looks like a cool place to check out if one is in the area, and it is good to hear you have big plans for it. As for ideas for exhibits, you might do well to look at what different places have had success with globally (e.g. the Smithsonian Art Museum, the Vigamus in Rome, the Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, or the new Huis Ten Bosch Game Museum in Tokyo) for some cues. I'd think an exhibit where people could do things like this would be cool:

A) create some small piece of art in a design engine (e.g. a quick 10-20 minute workshop in 3D modeling or pixel art)

B) try out stations with various games that let you create art in them (e.g. Mario Paint)

C) see comparisons of original concept art (perhaps supplied by studios) to finished designs while listening to audio/video of artists discussing their work

D) a station where players play through various iterations of the same game to experience its evolution (e.g. view and play a game from sketches and models>pre-alpha>alpha>beta>demo>retail>patches>enhanced versions>community mods in the span of ~10 minutes or so)

E) occasional live performances of video game music or game-related musicians (e.g. a show by The Protomen or a quartet performance of an OST, etc.)

Anyway, those are a few off the top of my head. I'm happy to chat more here or via PM, just let me know.


Yup, that's the one! I'm the librarian there, and it's pretty much my job to catalog and organize the stacks of games we have, as well as send lists of donations to our treasurer, for preparing tax write-off receipts for donated games. I also have curated the aforementioned "art style games" exhibit.

I do love the old-school feel of games, with cartridges you can actually feel, rather than the downloadable content of today. We do have a bunch of old Atari consoles with the classic joystick controllers, plus a few rare items like a top-loader NES and even a Neo-Geo arcade machine with an interchangeable decks for different games, but we're always on the lookout for more stuff! And thanks for the link to the earlier post about us! I guess we're trying mostly to spread the word about us, as marketing has been a long-lacking issue for us. Many thanks! :)
User avatar
TheMADEgames
Newbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:17 pm

Re: Games in a Museum setting

by TheMADEgames Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:09 pm

dsheinem wrote:
CRTGAMER wrote:
TheMADEgames wrote:So far, we've had a few showcases, including 3D games over the years, games that reflect more established art genres (Cubism, watercolor, Impressionism, etc.) and games featuring music as a gameplay element (DDR, Guitar Hero, etc.)

What are some other ideas you guys might have? If you were a serious patron to a playable games museum, and were interested in checking out an exhibit, what would you like to see, and what exhibits and concepts would you like to see? I would love to see what input you guys can offer, and if you're ever around the SF Bay Area, check us out!

The MADE

Nice exhibit! The art is fine, but you might want to mainly emphasize the best features of the older systems?

1. Games of a forgotten Genre that really shined on a given system, look especially for Hidden Gems (have the game running) for the public to discover.

2. Controls that are pretty much forgotten such as the Trakball and Spinner and what games that work well with it. As for that Spinner not just Pong, look into games such as Tac Scan and Omega Race for the Arcade and on the 2600; Indy 500, Warlords and Kaboom. I bet most people walking in the door will get a kick out of discovering the two player Indy Car tag game or the four player Warlords game.

3. History aspect such as the Video Game crash and how the various 8 bit computers and the NES reviving the market. Maybe it was the 8 bit computer that contributed to the crash?


Did you read the OP? They're looking for suggestions about art-related exhibits, not about your pet interests...


Actually, while our exhibits are mostly visual-based, we have been toying with the idea of hosting educational classes with a game history angle to them. Currently we get some funding from the Will Wright Foundation for our Scratch and Unity programming courses, but we've been thinking of expanding our teaching curriculum a little more. I'm personally not involved much with the teaching programs, but a history course focusing on the Game Crash of '83 would be very welcome indeed!
User avatar
J T
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 12420
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:21 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Games in a Museum setting

by J T Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:25 pm

Another idea: do a bunch of large scale prints of screenshots from http://deadendthrills.com/ and hang them on the walls.
My contributions to the Racketboy site:
Browser Games ... Free PC Games ... Mixtapes ... Doujin Games ... SotC Poetry
User avatar
KalessinDB
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 2461
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: Games in a Museum setting

by KalessinDB Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:40 am

dsheinem wrote:... the Museum of Play in Rochester, NY...


Hey, I live there!

..well, not in the Museum itself, but you get the idea. Great place, I only go maybe once a year, but it's the last place around here to get the arcade fix. There was also an AWESOME travelling exhibit that hit the Ontario Science Center in Toronto last year, was one of the earlier dates I went on with my girl. Unfortunately, your museum seems to have a very different approach than either of those 2 are/were, so I dunno if I can help much. Good luck though!
Gunning for a licensed NES NTSC-U set, follow the madness and poverty here!
Cheat sheet of my collection, always looking to increase it. 405/677 licensed games, 46/"95" unlicensed
Chronically out of date BST thread
Return to Games As Culture

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests