Video Games in the Museum
Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Principal Investigator: Prof. Gregor White
Co-Investigator: Kieran Long, Victoria and Albert Museum
The overarching objective of the project is to achieve a clear understanding of issues around games design typologies, protocols for interpretation and display, and an enhanced understanding of video games as a cultural form to establish a resource that will support the ongoing study of the discipline.
In order to achieve this, the network will bring together an international network of experts in games design and development, and academic researchers with a track record of research from a range of disciplines. These are relevant to the understanding of games development as a design process and games as a cultural form and social phenomenon to work with museums and galleries professionals. The combination of this range of disciplinary expertise and diverse perspectives will contribute to the consolidation of existing knowledge and development of new standards, new methods for communicating and promoting understanding of video games as a cultural form to diverse audiences, and protocols for the acquisition and collection of video games as a resource for the ongoing study of the form.
The network will include UK and international games companies who will be invited to contribute to the collection as well as interpretation and exhibition materials. Through this activity, the network seeks to improve the understanding of video game art and design as a creative expression and social form, to the long-term benefit of the games industry in the UK.
Video Games in the Museum
Workshop 2 - Spawn
Hosted in the Hannah Maclure Centre, Abertay University, Dundee on Friday 8 August 2014. In the context of video games SPAWN refers to the spontaneous manifestation of a character or object in the games environment. The SPAWN workshop will explore the design of characters, clothing, objects and environments in video games. Discussions with explore influences from real word designs, styles and cultures and examine how contemporary design and historical styles are used to create fantastic and fictional worlds.
The workshop will include presentations from game design experts, breakout sessions and discussion and a range of exhibits responding to ideas around the exhibition of video games design principles.
The workshop is part of Dare ProtoPlay: the UK’s biggest Indie games festival, taking place in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square every year over 4 days in August. As well as showcasing the games produced by the student teams on Dare to be Digital, the festival also showcases many other indie games from local, national and international developers and offers a varied educational programme for the public and a conference for more serious developers. Most programmes are free to enter. Dare ProtoPlay 2016 runs in Dundee City Square, from 4–7 August.
Workshop 1 - LOOP
Hosted in the British Galleries in the V&A London on the 23rd of April 2014, LOOP is the first of three workshops is focused on discussing the challenges around collecting, curating and exhibiting video games. The workshop will challenge the conventions of the arcade style exhibition and ask participants to re-imagine games exhibition in ways that interrogate and expose games and gameplay by engaging with essential elements of games as artefacts, processes and effects. From there participants will consider the ways in which these ideas can be represented, and exhibited to engage museums audiences with a new cultural medium.
- Gregor White, Abertay University – Video Games in the Museum
- Alex Wiltshire, Writer and Games Commentator - LOOP
- Richard Lemarchand, University of Southern California– Games Design Process
Tour of the British Galleries at V&A
with Kieran Long & Louise Shannon, V&A
Workshop Session 1: LOOP
Identify games elements visual/audio assets, mechanics that elicit a player response and ways in which the effect could be reproduced in the museum and outside of the game.
Workshop Session 2: FRAME
Identify the appropriate way to understand best the relationship between the asset and the effect and the best we to interpret/represent the experience or knowledge.
RePLAY: San Francisco. March 2015
This workshop explores the establishment of gaming as cultural practice in the context of the pervasiveness of computing and mediated living. Raising questions of social impact of games its controversial content - explicit violence, sexist gender portrayals, and politically charged storylines – as well as more general questions about gaming's positive and negative social effects. The workshop will discuss ways in which museums can locate games in their contemporary cultural context, explore the reflexive potential of the medium as a way of understanding cultural and sub-cultural mores.
For further information, see Video Games in the Museum
- Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
- Microsoft Games Studios
- UK Interactive Entertainment
- Creative Skillset
- University of Southern California