Video Games Evolve In Boston

evolution.jpgVisitors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Economic Adventure Gallery will get a unique chance to explore the history of video gaming this fall. "Video Games Evolve: A Brief History from Spacewar! to MMORPGs" is an exhibit running through January that seeks to teach visitors the rich history of our favourite hobby. The exhibit features a simulation of Spacewar!, the first non-commercial game created in 1962, reproductions of Ralph Baer's prototype notes on the Odyssey, a timeline of video game history, and an exploration of the motion-capture process. In the MMORPG portion of the exhibit you'll find games like Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, and of course, Second Life.

"This is a wonderful exhibit not only for video game lovers, but for anyone who wants to know how science, technology, and art come together to form an industry," said Dr. Peter Raad, Executive Director of The Guildhall at SMU.

And in case you don't want to learn, they have Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac Man, Frogger, and Space Invaders cabinets set to free play. Hear that Boston? Free Donkey Kong!

New Exhibit Focuses On History Of Video Games

Fall exhibit hosted by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Economic Adventure Gallery

BOSTON, Mass. - October 29, 2007 - The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Economic Adventure Gallery is hosting an engaging, interactive exhibit on the history of video games this fall. "Video Games Evolve: A Brief History from Spacewar! to MMORPGs" examines the video-game industry's roots, which are firmly planted in New England. The exhibit, which is free, runs though January.

"This is a wonderful exhibit not only for video game lovers, but for anyone who wants to know how science, technology, and art come together to form an industry," said Dr. Peter Raad, Executive Director of The Guildhall at SMU.

The gaming revolution began across the Charles River at MIT, where the first non-commercial interactive video game, "Spacewar!", was born in 1962. About a decade later, Magnavox released the first commercial video-game console, "Odyssey," which was created by New Hampshire resident Ralph Baer. In addition to enjoying a "Spacewar!" simulation, visitors can examine an enlarged reproduction of Baer's prototype notes, as well as an early Odyssey console.

If guests are interested in a more hands-on experience, they can play classic 1980 arcade games like "Donkey Kong," "Ms. Pac Man," "Frogger" or "Space Invaders." In addition to being able to play these games for free, visitors can admire the sleek fiberglass console of "Computer Space," an early 1970s arcade game.

The exhibit also offers a look at the evolution of the home-gaming console, a timeline of video-game history, and an in-depth look at the motion-capture process (a key animation tool in modern video-game production). The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, a leading education centre for digital-game development, loaned several three-dimensional sculptures of creatures that were used to develop animations.

In addition to examining the past, the exhibit also offers an enticing look at modern-day games, including "Star Wars Galaxies," the "Immune Attack" educational game, the virtual reality of "Second Life," and massive, multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPGs) like "World of Warcraft."

The exhibit is part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Economic Adventure, an interactive educational designed to teach middle- and high-school students how New England's improved living standards are reliant upon innovation, which leads to advances in productivity. The exhibit is open from Monday through Friday, from 1:00-4:00pm.


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