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The new exhibit, named “Power Up,” is an interactive celebration of the best and most influential video games from 1976 to the present day. There, visitors can try their hand at ‘Halo,’ the futuristic Xbox first-person shooter phenomenon.
Mark Cutmore is a gamer and head of commercial experiences at Science Museum. He helped to curate the exhibit. “It’s a real celebration of the history of video games,” he says. “In this space, we’ve got over 160 consoles spanning five decades of video gaming, and it’s all playable, and people get to come along and see first-hand how games have evolved over time.”
Of course, there are arcades packed with video games, but “Power Up” has curated the games across 20 themes, as well as putting together the chronological history of gaming in a time tunnel, from 1976 to the present day.
Cutmore rejects the suggestion that “Power Up” is just an arcade: “In an arcade, you’ve just got usually a random collection of different arcade machines. This is actually a curated space. We thought about the history of video games and we want to tell stories and inspire people,” he says.
Cutmore believes video games are too culturally important to be ignored. “Gaming is so significant to our lives these days. It’s an enormous industry that has surpassed film and music,” he says.
Art critic Tabish Khan visited the exhibit on its opening day. Although Khan’s tastes are for high art, he can’t deny the legacy video games have left on the world. “Video games are a massive part of today’s culture, embraced by millions of people. And here’s a chance to see the evolution of video games over the decades,” he says. But despite the widespread appeal of video games, they’re still shaking off a few negative public perceptions, says Khan.
The Science Museum often focuses on interactivity in its exhibits and “Power Up” is certainly a hands-on experience. “Power Up” is a permanent exhibit at the Science Museum, and opened to the public on Jul. 27.
This article was provided by The Associated Press.