The Average Gamer

Surviving the Science Museum: Game On – The Exhibition

This exhibit is entirely unrelated to the book Game On! From Pong to Oblivion.

The entrance to Game OnWe all trooped down to the Science Museum on Saturday to play “every game worth playing”, as the posters say. The part they omit from the posters is “and also Pitfall 2, which sucks ass.”

The Game On exhibition is at the London Science Museum until 27th February 2007. It was an… interesting experience, to say the least. Not comfortable. Here’s The Average Gamer’s survival guide, if you’re planning on seeing it:

  1. Don’t go on Saturday. It will be rammed and there will be small children underfoot. Sometimes they will beg you to let them play even though you only picked up the gamepad a mere second ago. They will look cute and vulnerable. Don’t be tricked by their innocent gaze! You’ll have to pry the pad back from their cold, dead fingers.
  2. Don’t bring WMDs, biological weapons or teeny tiny handbag knives used for cutting stray threads. They search all bags on the way in and will stop you from entering.
  3. Bring lots of cash. It costs £8.50 for just the exhibit and you may decide to take advantage of their IMAX + exhibit deal. Also, the chocolate chip shortbread and brownies in the Natural History Museum next door are very tasty. (T-Rex is undergoing maintenance :()
  4. Dress in layers. Poor ventilation + lots of people + a hundred PCs and consoles = really freaking hot!
  5. Wear comfy shoes. This especially applies to any ladies reading. There is no seating once you enter the Game On section. Okay, there’s no seating if you’re over 2 feet tall. There are some teeny chairs next to the Pokémon SPs.

As for the exhibit itself… it was all right, I suppose, even though they left out pretty much every favourite game from my childhood (The Hobbit, Knight Tyme, Sorcery, anything by Bioware). I didn’t even see an Amstrad CPC 464. They had Lemmings but it wasn’t working.

Aside from that, the layout is very bizarre. They’re marketing it as a history of videogames but there doesn’t seem to be any coherent chronology. For example, in one corner they have Infocom’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy . Next to that is Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Next to that is The Secret of Monkey Island. Eh??

(BTW, there’s a concept drawing of Pirate Cap’n LeChuck from The Secret of Monkey Island and you know what? He does look a lot like Davy Jones from Pirates of The Caribbean 2)

I did like the design plans for GTA3. Post-It notes everywhere!

Final Verdict: It’s all right if you have a tenner to burn or there’s a game that you know is there and really want to play (like TheFluffyFist and Tikipod on R-Type and, uh… Tweenies ;)). I wouldn’t make any sacrifices for it.