The Art of Video Games

From June to September, the Toledo Museum of Art will have an exhibit and programming that should be of interest to user experience professionals (and many others).

The Art of Video Games is about the interplay of graphics, technology and storytelling, and thus, it is about user experience. It covers 20 gaming systems from 1997 to 2005, including Commodore 64, Nintendo, Sega, Xbox, DOS & Windows. The exhibit is made up of still images, videos, interviews, consoles on display, and games to play.TAOVG-ArTMAttersCover2

It aims to show that video games are more than code and graphics; interaction design and storytelling also contribute to video game experiences. Over time, elements of video game experiences have bled into other forms of entertainment and non-game digital experiences. Even if you do not work on video games, I think you will be inspired and informed by the exhibit, helping you plan, design, and code user experiences in other contexts.

The exhibition started at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2012, then went on the road. It was in Phoenix at this time last year and arrives in Toledo from Yonkers in a few weeks. Learn some more about the exhibit: watch videos on YouTube, scan #TAoVG (general exhibit hashtag) & #GameOnTMA (local exhibit/program hashtag), buy the book, read the history, check out the local media kit.

The museum has more than just this exhibit to attend! There are parties, talks, movies, and panels about the video game industry.

  • Chris Melissinos, the curator of the exhibit, will be giving a presentation and doing a book signing on Friday, June 20th at 7pm to help kick off the exhibit at TMA.
  • Exhibit opening party, June 21, 8pm to midnight, sponsored by UXTR supporter Hanson Inc.
  • Thursday evening film showings of WarGames (July 24) and The Last Starfighter (August 21), with perhaps another one to be announced.
  • Friday evening panels “Life of a Pro Gamer” (July 18) and “Where are video games headed?” (August 15).
  • Added 7/26: AIGA Toledo is having a Cocktails & Creatives in conjunction with the exhibit on August 1st.

Check out Toledo Tech Events tag TAOVG for more information on each of these events, and an updated list as more are announced.

There are even more things going on, loosely related to the exhibition, not listed at Toledo Tech Events. If you have kids age 10 or under, there are Family Center activities planned related to the video game theme. The Community Gallery has an exhibit on Computer Generated Art which opens on May 16th.

See you there!


PS. If you are talking with a colleague and want to point them to more information, use “gameon dot toledomuseum dot org“.

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