You’ll be able to play more than 40 retro games at the Evolution of Gaming exhibition at the Centre for Digital Media. Among them are such classics as Arkanoid (1986) and Defender (1982), as well as the original The Legend of Zelda (1986) and Super Mario Bros. (1985) for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The curators of the exhibition have their favourites. For Isabelle Arvers, the must-play title is Elite (1984), the first game for eight-bit systems that used 3-D graphics. Kimberly Voll recommends spending time with 1982’s Vectrex console, which has a built-in vector graphics monitor that’s “crisp and clear”.
Malcolm Levy hopes visitors will leave the exhibition with a sense of the history of the video-game medium and the people who were involved in creating the games. Evolution, he said, “looks at the artists within”.
Despite the focus of Evolution being the history of video games, it will include a virtual-reality component as a glimpse into the future. Some of Voll’s students at the Centre for Digital Media are building a game experience for Oculus Rift headsets that will be playable at the exhibition. Voll describes it as “like playing Rampage from within”, referring to the 1986 arcade game in which players control monsters and smash a city to bits.