The story of gamers is the modern equivalent of the Ugly Duckling tale. Long ago they were an outcast bunch, looked down upon by most of society, until something changed and gaming became more available to the general public. Now everyone, from your postman to your grandparents, plays video games. The geek culture has truly taken over, and with it video games reached out into the world and influenced every area of normal life. Things like…
The Nintendo Amusement Park is a “planned but still not completed” New York project meant to bring all your favorite NES titles to life and let you experience them first hand. The park’s three promises about their possible attractions are: nothing with be digital, nothing will be projected and nothing will be virtual. The attractions are supposed to be real life obstacle courses where, for example, you get to run around as Mario and jump on Goombas using a professional stunt harness.
The project failed to find sufficient funding to progress beyond the prototype Super Mario course, but if you have money to waste, the Mario Experience is opened to the public after initial reservations.
Back in the late 80s / early 90s Adventure video games were all the rage. Everyone was internet relay chatting about combining items, solving riddles and having miles of fun until the genre mysteriously died out. Many classic adventure titles have been all but forgotten, almost all of which had the word “Quest” in them for some reason. But, in a way, they lived on in the memories of their fans. Today, these fans recreate their childhood nostalgia in Off-Broadway Play form.
“Adventure Quest” is the name of a Brooklyn play directed by Adam Swiderski who, together with a large portion of the cast, is himself a fan of the Adventure genre. The play wants to mimic all the familiar experiences of those classic games, by for example having a character that can only do things by giving clear verbal commands. This is an obvious reference to the old text based RPGs where each action required a specific command, like “Go North”, “Stab Monster”, etc. Unfortunately “Win Game” never did the trick.
“Adventure Quest” also features a few cameos from classic Adventure games’ items and characters, and there is a lot of breaking of the fourth wall.
Swiderski wanted to bring video games to the theater for a long time and even penned a screenplay for the immensely popular “Grim Fandango”, considered one of the finest Adventure games ever made. Maybe someday he will get to direct it, giving people more reasons to go to the theater besides than that time Harry Potter got naked on stage with that horse.
As a whole, video gaming doesn’t really have a history per se. It’s been, what, 38 years since Pong was released? That’s not that old, but nonetheless a video game museum has been opened.
The National Center for the History of Electronic Games in Rochester, New York, is part of the Strong National Museum of Play, which itself focuses on toys and games. The video game museum allegedly offers 15,000 objects that span every aspect of gaming; from hardware, to games, advertising and even vintage instruction manuals.
Inside the museum you get to see all the consoles you never knew existed, because even in the 80s there was more to video games than just Atari and Commodore. Other sections are supposedly dedicated to other areas of gaming, including developers, gamers and even controversies. Why yes, video games did have their less-stellar moments, like “Custer’s Revenge” where you could actually take the role of famed general Custer and graphically violate a Native American woman.
No, that is not a joke. This game exists and you can probably see it exhibited in the museum.