Ontario Science Centre Hosts World’s Biggest Video Game Celebration With Canadian Premiere Of Game On 2.0
From Pong to Guitar Hero, the Ontario Science Centre will host Game On 2.0, offering a hands-on exploration of video game history and culture. Visitors will experience more than 60 years of gaming entertainment and technology; from the very first commercial coin-operated game to the latest in virtual reality and 3D gaming. The world’s largest celebration of video games making its first Canadian appearance, Game On 2.0features game design, development, and production including multiplayer games, handheld devices, original concept and character art, and the history’s most influential arcade machines. (On Twitter use #GameOnScience.)
Game On 2.0 tracks the development of video games from the earliest computer games to arcade-era hits and the very latest from today’s multi-billion dollar industry with more than 125 playable games from across the history of the medium – including pinball games – as well as rarely-seen consoles, controllers and collectables. This new exhibition runs from March 9 to September 2, 2013 and is free with general admission.
According to Secor Consulting Group’s Canada’s Entertainment Software Industry in 2011 report (PDF), a study commissioned by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC), 59% of Canadians aged 2+ are involved in some form of gaming, which is no surprise as the video game industry delivers $1.7 billion into the Canadian economy. Some of the biggest blockbusters in the industry are made in Canada. Assassin’s Creed III launching later this year and FIFA 13 are both developed in Canada. Video games are becoming part of the family social structure with 40% of parents playing computer and video games with their children on a weekly basis. The majority of parents are seeing positive impacts of playing video games. In fact 66% of parents believe that video games provide mental stimulation or education and 61% believe that gaming helps the family spend time together.
“Video games have captured our imaginations and changed the way we think and play. They stimulate children and youth who are often not engaged by traditional learning formats, provide opportunities for families to play together and keep aging brains nimble. They work across generations and provide rich opportunities for learning,” says Ontario Science Centre CEO Lesley Lewis. “Game On 2.0 provides a unique look into the world’s largest entertainment industry – from careers in the gaming industry to the creativity behind game design and development.”
Special Exhibition Features:
With something for everyone, the exhibition spans the full spectrum of video game history and culture, including the following special interactive features and primary content areas:
- Virtusphere – Visitors will experience complete immersion in virtual reality with the Canadian premiere appearance of the Virtusphere. A 10-foot hollow sphere that allows a user to enter and run freely while wearing a wireless, head-mounted display, the Virtusphere offers the ultimate, within-the-game locomotion interface. According to the Discovery Channel, “this new invention is a virtual reality tool that comes closer than most to the Holodeck of Star Trek fame.”
- Early Games — Walk back in time learning what technological advances led to the first computer games. See vintage arcade games from the 60s, 70s and 80s including Pong, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, and Space Invaders plus rare early artifacts and merchandise.
- Top Ten — Look at the most important developments in gaming consoles from iconic brands Atari, Nintendo, Microsoft, Sega and Sony.
- Genres — Play a wide array of game styles and types, divided roughly by decade to reflect the era of production. This wholly interactive area features game varieties focused on thought, action and simulation.
- Making & Marketing — Trace the development of six of the most important games of recent times, from conception to interface with the public including Grand Theft Auto, Pokémon, The Sims, Tomb Raider, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted 2 and Spore.
- Game Culture Around the World — Investigate the way games reflect and influence wider culture and explore key game developers from North America to Europe. Also, learn the influence of Japanese games across the world and how they are culturally converted for broad usage.
- Characters — See the two most impactful characters through their creators’ eyes. The development of Sonic, designed by Yuji Naka, and Mario, designed by Shigeru Miyamoto are both showcased as well as Lara Croft and Parappa the Rapper.
- Kids & Portable Gaming — Grab a handheld game including Nintendo 3DS, Sony PSP and Wonderswan while learning the rich history of portable games designed for younger children.
- Sound — Listen to the importance of sound in game design; features early music from the 8, 16 and 32 bit eras including composers such as Nintendo’s Koji Kondo and the composer of World of Warcraft music, Jason Hayes.
- Cinema — Reveal the influence of cinema on game design with specific examples of links between the media, including Star Wars and Tomb Raider.
- Multiplayer & Online Gaming — Explore the social and community development aspects of online gaming, one of the most important trends in recent times. Featured are networked games often played simultaneously by thousands of people, including Bomberman and Halo Reach.
- Magazines — View a rare selection of vintage gaming magazines, portraits of well-known gamers, and a range of emerging content and technology trends.
- Futures — Discover the latest, newly released games and emerging technology developments. Updated at each exhibition opening, this section showcases up-to-the-minute breakthroughs in gaming advances.
Game On 2.0 is included with general admission to the Ontario Science Centre. Tickets may be purchased now online or by calling 416-696-1000.
Game On 2.0 is an exhibition organized and toured by the Barbican Centre which is owned and funded by the City of London Corporation. Game On 2.0 is presented by triOS College. This event has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.