Text by Ekaterina (Katya) Koroleva
I went to the Videogames: Design\Play\Discrupt exhibition in the V&A. Don’t judge me too strict, I am not a hardcore gamer by any means. I haven’t played most of these games (mainly because I don’t own the required consoles), but I know of them. The following post is solely my opinion and view on the exhibition.
The Journey – meditative platformer with beautiful graphics and soundtrack about a character running through a desert. The Last of Us – one of those games that you can watch like movies, it’s a zombie-survival story about a teenage girl and a man trying to make their way through a post-apocalyptic world. Bloodborne – I haven’t looked into it much, but I know it is a dark RPG. Splatoon – I have heard a lot about this game and have seen a lot of fanart, it is a team shooter with fashionable outfits and kind of fun splashy paint aesthetics.
The most interesting part for me was the concept art, because it is my ambition to eventually become a concept artist for games or animation. It was also very interesting to look at the game designers’ notebooks with lots of writing, scribbles of level floor plans and occasional character sketches.
There was also a whole section dedicated to politics around video games. Feminism and video games, inclusiveness, is violence provoked by video games or is the violence in video games just a reflection of the society? – these were some of the questions posed at the exhibition. And, as always, no definitive answers were given, just different points of view, leaving the viewers to decide for themselves.
The third and final room was full of event posters for game jams and parties, there were also some hand-crafted arcade machines, which was a very interesting part of the exhibition. The visitors could actually play all the games in this area. The most innovative game machine looked like a LED tube, going from the machine to the ceiling and you play as a little green light travelling to the top of the tube, you have to move the joystick in a vibrating motion to defeat the enemies represented by red-orange dots on your way, and if you die, a whole bunch of rainbow-coloured sparks spread through the whole length of the LED tube.
I enjoyed the exhibition very much and regretted going alone as it would be more fun playing the arcade machines with a friend rather than with random visitors. If you haven’t seen this exhibition yet, you have time till February 24th to go there. It is cheaper for students and even more cheap for the Art Fund Student card holders.