Friday 9 May 2014

Game Masters


During the weekend I met up with some old high school buddies and went to the Game Masters exhibition at the Power House Museum in Sydney (below).

The exhibit featured over 100 games that you could sit (or stand) and play at your leisure. It included consoles/devices and games from the earliest days of gaming to modern classics and everything in between. I got a high score on Missile Defence which I haven’t played since I was 7! I got Zerg rushed! I kicked a chicken!

The world's most influential videogame designers and ground-breaking games were celebrated, spanning arcades, consoles, PC and mobile platforms. Many influential franchises were showcased, including (but in no way limited to) Space Invaders, Pac Man, Mario, Sonic, Sim City, Warcraft/Starcraft, Fable, Guitar Hero, Metal Gear Solid, Deus Ex, Rez, Monkey Island and many more. Some great little indie games were also there, such as Braid and Journey. Noticeably absent were first person shooters, arcade or otherwise, such as Operation Wolf, Time Crisis, Wolfenstein, Doom, Unreal, Quake, CoD, Battlefield (how good was 1942/3 in the day?) or Halo. There were also no fighting games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, Tekken or Samurai Showdown. I assume they are just too violent for the intended audience. Mass Effect should have been represented too, ah well…

The exhibit was presented in three sections, allowing you to play traditional arcade machines and consoles and large-scale interactive displays. There was heaps of multimedia addressing game design and development, rare original game artwork, 3D models/renders and interviews with game designers. We promptly ignored most of this stuff and just played lots of games.
Here are a few shots of the day, with some special moments to bring a stinging tear of nostalgia to the eye. Please excuse the quality of some photos, it was dark and potent in that place.

Johnny playing Xevious, which was a hotly contested game in our group’s retro-arcade gaming club a while ago (though we used an emulator back then and this was the real thing). I found it to be a blisteringly infuriating game!).

Wade playing Pac Man. We witnessed a 30-something Dad explaining to his concerned son why he was able to chase the ghosts after eating a power-pill: emotional.

Johnny and Arny get their Rez on.

KuriboGoomba, the Rez master, takes on the big screen. Psychedelic awesome ensued. Soooo many glowing space jellyfish to shoot!


Porntipsguzzardo! I would have liked to have unleashed a disaster on this Sim City 2000 town, but there were too many other games to play.

KuriboGoomba playing one of his favourites, Shadow of the Colossus. He spent 10 minutes swimming and running up a ramp before falling off again and giving up. No giant monsters were harmed during the filming of this episode of Old School Gaming.

A Fender Stratocastor xbox controller with real strings for playing Guitar Hero. Wow. Just wow.

…and finally, Arny taking Johnny for a ride in Sega’s ‘Hang On’ J

All I can say is, we went in pretty cocky but left feeling old. Still, it feels like a privilege to have been there when the vast majority of these games had their time in the sun.
See you across the table,

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