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Sunday, August 21, 2005


Game On!

Welcome to another week of Gamecreature! For those of you who don't know, my goal is to have new content up by Monday every week. That usually means I'll be uploading it sometime on Sunday, but I can't say exactly when. Suffice it to say, there will always be a new comic and a message related to it posted here every Monday.

Those of you fortunate enough to live near Chicago may have seen the Game On! exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. If you haven't yet and would like to, you'd better get a move on, because there's only a few weeks left before it closes. The exibit is a collection of working video games, starting with Pong and going through the latest video game releases.

What they do right is give visitors a chance to actually play these games, many of which have not been seen in a long time. Folks like me who like to reminisce about games they enojoyed in the past will be in heaven as they put their hands on games like Galaga, Missile Command and Discs of Tron. It also exposes folks to games they would not otherwise have seen and lets them try those as well.

What they could have done better at was provide a little more background. The games are there, in chronological order, but little infromation is given as to why the games are the way they are. Why, for instance, was so much effort put into creating the animations for Dragon's Lair and why did that particular game use a large video disc player? (The answer is that each and every game has been and always will be trying new things to put on the best possible "show" for potential customers. No video game hardware available at the time could possibly show animations of the quality that they wanted to show with Dragon's Lair - the laser disc player was the only possible option. I think some vendors actually experimented with video tape players, but I have never seen any machines actually use something like that.)

All in all, I was pleased to see that video games were given such a great presentation at the museum. I hope that the next time such an endeavor is attempted, visitors will walk away with more of their questions answered.
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