On: An Exhibition of Video Games at Scottish Royal Museum
January 2, 2003
Today I went to a rather cool exhibition at the Scottish Royal Museum.
'Game On: The History, Culture and Future of Videogames'
The best thing was that nearly all of the games, including the historial
classics from the 80s were playable, with the only cost being the £3 admission.
The only obstacle from Pacman, Space Invaders, Pong (an original machine) were
the inevitable crowds. The exhibition started with SpaceWar! the first computer
game from 1962.
There was also some models of early computers and consoles - you forget how
small a ZX81 really is! There were Spectrums, Commodore 64s, Amigas and Atari
2600s (the jolly joysticks still stick, even after all these years). What I
found most interesting was the collection of early hand held games, including a
space invader game machine that looked like an oversized 70s calculator, a simon
says machine, an Atari Lynx from 1989 (larger than I remembered it) and many of
those small calculator sized games that were so cool when you were at primary
school in the 1980s. I would have liked to have seen a BBC model B there,
especially as it was the computer that gave the world Elite (Elite was later on
in the exhibition represented by a vasty inferior NES version that was virtually
uncontrollable). There were no Apple IIe's either, even though 'Where in the
World is Carmen Sandiago' would be remembered by many. Many games were either
running on consoles or under emulation, probably for the sake of stability.
The majority of the exhibition was dominated by later games by Sega, Nintendo,
Sony Playstation and surprisingly Microsoft. One wonders if there was a cushy
little sponsorship deal involved.
I ended up spending about three quarters of an hour in total playing Populas
(early 90s). I was able to quickly finish someone elses game, but I went back
again as I noticed that I seemed to be the only person who remembered how to
A mere £3 for an afternoon of playing old computer games - it was a great use
of a wet Edinburgh afternoon!