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New video game exhibit in Halifax this summer

120 games from the last 50 years will be in the city, and visitors will be able to play 15 of them.
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GameChangers
A photo from the Game Changers Exhibit. (Discovery Centre)

HALIFAX - Almost 50 years of gaming history is being showcased in Halifax this summer.

Game Changers opened Tuesday at the Discovery Centre.

The exhibit was developed in Ottawa by the Canadian Science and Technology Museum and is on a countrywide tour.

It features 120 of the most influential video games of all time as well as: original concept art, storyboards, and level designs; audio recording from game developers; and iconic video game music.

15 of those games are available to play.

More than video games, the museum component of the exhibit includes production documents, scripts, and motion capture equipment.

A special feature unique to the Discovery Centre is Google Tilt Brush, a virtual reality 3D painting experience, where visitors can make their own 3D art.

Ryan Jameson, Manager of Science Experience and Innovation for the Discovery Centre, says it's about the love of video games.

"It's really a giant love letter to the whole history of video gaming. It goes back to pong all the way up to new virtual reality."

He says that the exhibit isn't just for kids and that it's a real multi-generational experience.

"It's really cool to see parents get so excited to see the game that they played when they were young, and they want to introduce their kid to Pac-Man or Space Invaders and have them feel the excitement that they had when they first picked up that game."

He says there will be a number of adult evening events over the summer from gaming tournaments for classic games to speakers from the gaming industry.

Jameson says while the exhibit is historical, he hopes that it will spark interest about creating games in young visitors and says they want to showcase not just the technical side of video games but also the creative aspect.

"Back in those days when you really couldn't really draw on the processing power of modern systems you really only had a couple of pixels, a couple of colours to create a story, so people got really creative with what they did on the screen, but also what they packaged with the games."

He points to manuals, comics, box art, music, and script as the creative works surrounding the games.

He says storytelling in video games requires every part of the game: graphics, music, writing, and even the technical design.

He says that this exhibit is an excellent example of STEAM, science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, and that getting kids interested in all parts of science is a core mandate of the Discovery Center. 

The exhibit is open now though September 9.

-With files from Matt Brand 




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