Game On

I’ve got some time off this week prior to easter, and so Mum thought it might be a great time to come visit, and of course it was.

It seems the gaming gods aligned, as some friends let me know that there was an exhibition in the city about the history of gaming. Given the fact that Mum was more of a gamer than me when I was young we were always going to be heading in to check it out.

So off we went, into the city to Fed Square, and then to find the Australian Center for the Moving Image.

I think its $14 per adult to get in, and discounts available for concession card holders, students and kids.

So what is it, well for more details head over to the Game On
site, but here is the official blurb.

Get ready for Melbourne’s must-see exhibition of 2008 – the action-packed celebration of games culture that has thrilled over one million players of all ages around the world. Game On tracks the development of videogames from the first computer game to arcade-era hits and the very latest from today’s billion dollar industry.

Original illustrations by Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and concept sketches behind classics like Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto provide unique insight into the creative process of game development. Rarely-seen consoles, controllers, arcade machines, packaging and collectables are brought together in a showcase of game history like no other.

So what are our thoughts… Really interesting to see all the consoles, many more than I remember, but there was not enough detail on the games. They have sort of collected games into areas like, family, multiplayer, regional games, etc.. But they should have done more about genre’s like the evolution of RTS and such.

Classic games like pong, space invaders, galaga and such are there, but its the early pc titles that started the genre’s that are dominant today were spaced out.

Don’t get me wrong, the presentation was great, we spent over 2 hrs walking around reading about the history of the consoles and games and such. There was a great collection of handheld gaming platforms on show, and most of them even playable. But there were some things that I think were missing.

There were some classic games that launched entire genre’s, things like First Person Shooters, Role Playing Games, Real Time Strategy and Multiplayer Online Games.

These sections should have shown some of the early games that were ground breaking, and the evolution of these games as the technology progressed.

So lets start with some lists.

First Person Shooters

  1. Doom I and II
  2. Quake
  3. Duke Nukem
  4. Goldeneye
  5. HalfLife
  6. Halo

Role Playing Games
There are a whole heap here, and I’m not sure where they work in order but these are some of the most early classics I can remember.

  1. Final Fantasy
  2. Phantasy Star
  3. Might and Magic
  4. Zelda
  5. Wonder Boy

Real Time Strategy

  1. Dune 2
  2. Warlords
  3. Command and Conquer / Red Alert
  4. Dark Reign
  5. Warcraft

Multiplayer Online Games
With the recent introduction of widespread broadband, these games have been a more recent introduction. But even spanning back to the early days you can find games which had a life of their own online playing with and against friends.
You’d be hard pressed to find a modern game that doesn’t have some sort of online option, although that is becoming more

  1. Unreal Tournament
  2. Ultima Online
  3. World of Warcraft

There are many other genre’s also like side scrollers (sonic/mario), early adventure games (commander keen/rodger wilco), text games (leisure suit larry / kings quest) and racing games (outrun, street rod, carmageddon, many more).

Other games I can think of that were a big part of my childhood.
Alex Kid
River Raid
Teddy Boy (Don’t touch the den den’s)

Anyway this is no where near an exhaustive list nor was it supposed to, but if there is another games show I’d love to see someone (with more resources than me) research all of these games, their release dates, sales figures and the consoles they were released for. We wouldn’t have to have working versions of them all, but just the recognition that they existed and had an impact on peoples lives (and futures :) ) is all I ask.