Game Masters coming to Canberra!

Immerse yourself in video game history

Ah, museums. Beacons of culture that we use to show off the highlights of our culture, other cultures, history, civilizations, nature, everything you can think of. If it’s important, we document it there. So it’s only natural video games are getting that treatment, meaning you can tell your friends you’re going to spend a very highly intellectual day at the museum soaking up that culture, when you’re actually going because Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy is on display and you want to know what it’s like playing that in such a sophisticated environment.

But also the culture thing, because video games are an important part of our modern culture.

Game Masters is an exhibition documenting 50 years of video game history, an exhibit that’s traveled the world and had over a million people checking it out. It’s been in Melbourne and I can tell you, it’s an absolutely amazing experience! And now it heads to Canberra’s National Film and Sound Archive (NSFA) from the 27th of September 2019 through to the 9th of March 2020, which is plenty of time to get in for repeat viewings.

The exhibit not only allows hands on play through games of yore as well as modern titles (which I’ll get into a bit later), but it also shows off some amazing extras! It allows patrons to explore the full history of video games, not just in terms of the finished products, but also behind the scenes pieces like concept artwork and interviews for folks to get an idea of what goes into game design, as well as an amazing collection of rare memorabilia and vintage consoles!

This means it’s perfect for patrons of all ages, teach your kids about what it was like to have 8 colours and be happy with it! Enjoy all those nostalgic games you never got to play, or see how far we’ve come! Learn about the love, passion and creativity that goes into every game and show your Aunt that keeps saying ‘video games are toys, stop playing your Nintendo Gamemens and get a real job’ that this is a real job and you’re going to make it big and no one can tell you otherwise!!!


The exhibit will be split into various sections:

Arcade Heroes will highlight the trailblazers, the developers who paved the way for future generations and created innovative hit after hit, like Shigeru Miyamoto with Donkey Kong, Ed Logg with Asteroids or Tomohiro Nishikado with Space Invaders.

Game Changers takes a leap forward to the contemporary designers, more modern games with more modern technology that changed the way we think about how we make games. This includes designers such as Peter Molyneux with Fable III, Yuji Naka and Sonic Team with Sonic the Hedgehog, Will Wright’s classic Sim City and Tim Schafer’s Broken Age.

Indies takes a look at games made by, you guessed it, independent developers, games that changed the idea of who makes games and letting the world know that anyone can make a hit, whether it’s from a bedroom or from a AAA studio. Developers on show include Ken Wong with his hit game Florence, Masaya Matsuura with Parappa the Rapper, Halfbrick with Fruit Ninja Kineckt and thatgamecompany with Journey.

And of course, all kinds of other games will be on display including party favourites like Dance Central 3 and all kinds of arcade machines!

Jan Müller, CEO of the NFSA said:

‘Game Masters is a lot of fun, offering visitors hours of discovery and play. But it is also a formal acknowledgment by the NFSA of the importance of video games in contemporary pop culture, their influence in immersive storytelling, and their role within the broader audiovisual production sector.’
‘Game Masters provides an opportunity for audiences to discover the creative process behind video games and be amazed by their evolution. It is more than an exhibition; it is a space for different generations of gamers to come together and celebrate their favourites.’
Senior ACMI Curator Fiona Trigg said:
‘We are thrilled that the Game Masters exhibition will be returning to Australia and showing at the NFSA. There are deep connections between film, TV and videogames and this exhibition reveals how the worlds’ best designers approach storytelling, character design and playability in so many different ways. From dance challenges to quixotic puzzle mediations to vintage arcade games, all playable, the exhibition is fun for the mind, the body and the imagination!’
This is absolutely an exhibit not to be missed.
To sum up, here are the details:
Where: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, McCoy Circuit, Acton ACT
When: 27 September 2019 to 9 March 2020; 10am to 4pm, Monday to Sunday (except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)
Tickets: $19/$15/$12 (adult/concession/junior 5-17). Kids up to age 4 free. Family passes available.
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