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Game On Exhibition – Thursday 6 March – Sunday 13 July, 2008, ACMI Screen Gallery, Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne. Tickets: Full $15 / Concession: $10 / Family (2 Adults, 2 children) $44 www.acmi.net.au/gameon

Classic movie-inspired games such as GoldenEye, Star Wars and Discs of Tron are part of a unique interactive exhibition running at Melbourne's ACMI, featuring over 120 playable games, most of which will be presented in their original formats, curated by Conrad Bodman (ACMI’s Head of Exhibitions) and Lucien King for the Barbican Art Gallery.

For example Space Invaders will be playable on the original cocktail table machines which populated the pubs, milk bars and arcades of the late ‘70s, while GoldenEye (still considered one of the best first-person shooter games of all time) will be playable on its original platform, the Nintendo 64.

Rare early arcade games from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s including Pong (1976), Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979) and Donkey Kong (1982); home consoles and personal computers from the past 30 years including working versions of the Magnavox Odyssey (1972) - the first console to made videogames playable on the TV screen and early PCs such as the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair Spectrum; Australian-developed games, online games and original games artwork will also be among the highlights.

This section looks at the links between videogames and film and features playable arcade games such as Star Wars (Atari) and Discs of Tron (Bally Midway), and more recent console-based hits renowned for their dynamic game play including GoldenEye (Rare). In addition, this section showcases original posters and clips from films that have been developed from games such as Tomb Raider and Resident Evil.

Games Culture – USA, Europe, Japan
This thematic section examines the way games reflect and influence wider culture, including the debate over violence in games, the role of the independent game company and the influence of sport on games. Also explored are some of the key game developers in North America and Europe. Playable games include Tony Hawks - American Wasteland, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 and John Madden American Football. This section also investigates what is distinctive about the Japanese contribution to games and includes displays on the influence of manga (comic book art) and anime (cartoons). Playable games include a version of Dragonball Z and SailorMoon.

Multiplayer Games
With the arrival of the network, multiplayer online gaming has become one of the most important gaming trends of recent times and has changed the landscape of PC, console and arcade based gaming already. Playable games in this section will include Warlords (played on the old Atari VCS) and Halo 3 (Microsoft).

Online Games and Machinima
This section explores the vibrant world of Online games and the communities which participate in them. A screening program allows visitors to experience online environments such as World of Warcraft and Second Life. Within this section will be a series of Machinima films created in game engines and shared online and visitors will be able to play Fury (Auran) - a major Australian online game.

Games Consoles, Kids Games, Character Design, Top 10 Australian Games and other sections complement the exhibition.

Published: February 28, 2008

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Lara Croft

Star Wars Galaxies

Donkey Kong arcade game
© Steve Belkowitz. Image courtesy of John Sellers, from Arcade Fever: The Fans Guide to the Golden Age of Videogames (Running Press 2001)

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