Videogames : Design / Play / Disrupt
Design / Play / Disrupt
Marie Foulston and Kristian Volsing
VIDEOGAMES: DESIGN / PLAY / DISRUPT explores the design and culture of videogames since the mid-2000s, investigating ground-breaking contemporary design work, creative and rebellious player communities, and the political conversations that define this movement. A star-studded cast of contributors consider a variety of games, from blockbusters like THE LAST OF US and SPLATOON and cultural phenomena such as MINECRAFT to less-mainstream productions like CONSUME ME, which tackles the difficult issues of body image and extreme dieting. Canadian academic and minimalist games designer Pippin Barr addresses violence in videogames through his work on A SERIES OF GUNSHOTS; Kat Brewster discusses the creation of fan art and fan fiction in relation to the multiplayer first-person shooter OVERWATCH; and the phenomenon of community and cosplay is explored by Philippa Warr through LEAGUE OF LEGENDS and the 2017 world finals in Beijing. It also features rarely seen material including designers' notebooks, concept art, prototypes and the artistic inspirations behind games such as JOURNEY, KENTUCKY ROUTE ZERO and NO MAN'S SKY. This is truly a landmark publication, bringing videogames into the mainstream of cultural criticism and placing them alongside more conventional mediums of creative expression. Praise for Videogames: Design / Play / Disrupt at the V&A: "Visitors to the Victoria & Albert Museum gallery will be able to immerse themselves in the Game of Thrones land of Westeros while watching people splatter each other with ink when a video games exhibition opens this year. Announcing details of the show on Friday, Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, said video games were "one of the most important design disciplines of our time". He added that he was confident the museum's founding director, Henry Cole, would also have staged the show. "Contemporary video games are strikingly innovative, uniquely creative and commercially successful – making a huge social and cultural impact across the globe," Hunt said." The Guardian "Anyone fearful of the effect of video games should spend an hour or two at this exhibition and hopefully come away sharing my optimism." Daily Telegraph The V&A exhibition will focus on video game design from the mid-2000s, [. . . ] there will be plenty [. . . ] to feast the eyes on, from concept art to moving footage, prototypes, character design sketches, and interactive installations. Highlights will include glimpses into the creative process Nintendo's Splatoon (2015), and of The Last of Us (2013) – a breathtaking post-apocalyptic marvel from Naughty Dog (a sequel is currently in the works). Also on view will be the painstakingly accurate recreation of the continent of Westeros from Game of Thrones in Minecraft, and a section exploring DIY arcade games and grassroots gaming culture." Wallpaper.com "Game Of Thrones and the art of Magritte are among the unlikely inspirations behind hit videogames explored in a new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Director Tristram Hunt said it was "the right time" for the museum to be looking at a global business that reaches 2.2 billion people across the world." Evening Standard "From September the world famous V&A will be giving gamers a rare glimpse into the creative process of developing games such as The Last of Us to Kentucky Route Zero including original prototypes, early character designs, and notebooks." Mirror "Now the controversial world of videogames is to be at the centre of a major exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibition, to open next September, will examine all aspects of videogames - from ground breaking contemporary design to ‘player communities' and the imbalance between the male dominated industry and the growing numbers of women gamers. Large scale installations and hands-on interactive experiences will allow visitors to explore the rapidly changing design and technology of today's videogames." Daily Telegraph
Marie Foulston is a Curator in the Design, Architecture and Digital Department at the V&A. Kristian Volsing is a Research Curator in the Design, Architecture and Digital Department at the V&A.