Video gaming gets back to roots in Paris show

Nov 10, 2011
A boy plays the video game "Pong" on the orignial Magnovox Odyssey 200 in 2009. From the 1970s table-tennis game "Pong" to the fast-paced, total-immersion of modern-day hits like "Call of Duty", a new show retracing the four-decade history of the video game opened Thursday in Paris.

From the 1970s table-tennis game "Pong" to the fast-paced, total-immersion of modern-day hits like "Call of Duty", a new show retracing the four-decade history of the video game opened Thursday in Paris.

Visitors can try their hand at some 80 titles at the , "Game Story", which runs until January at the capital's Grand Palais and examines the history of gaming from its humble roots to today's ultra-sophisticated, 3D titles.

"We are only just starting to do what was done for the film world in the 1960s," explained Jerome Neutres, special advisor to the Grand Palais. "We are no longer throwing the copies away. Instead we are sorting them, studying them, and beginning to get a sense of video game history."

That history kicks off with the trail-blazing "Pong" -- a single bouncing dot and two white lines to replicate a table-tennis match -- which made a name for the Atari and kickstarted the console boom.

Throughout the early 1980s Atari rolled out a string of hits, from "Pac-Man" to "Space Invaders", as found its way into millions of homes.

By the end of the decade, the gaming boom had sparked a proliferation of rival consoles, with the emergence of now-iconic games such as "Donkey Kong", "Mario", and "Sonic the Hedgehog".

Finally, the show illustrates the revolution in gaming in the past decade, both in terms of graphics and gameplay, arriving at fully immersive games that let the player control a with their whole body.

Over time the technology has also fed off, and fed into other, older media like films or graphic art, the exhibition argues.

"Videogames became part of society, and there's always been movement in both directions," explained Jean-Baptiste Clais, one of the show's curators. "Videogames are influenced by cinema, cartoons and television, and in return videogames exert their own influence on those other media."

For historical context, games are shown alongside everyday objects from the same period, each on the console it was designed for, with the oldest beamed onto cathode ray tube TVs, to recreate the original gaming sensations.

Explore further: Apple gives beta users a peek at OS X Yosemite

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 20

Apr 23, 2009

Twenty years ago Japan's Nintendo Co. launched the Game Boy, the iconic handheld video game player that spawned characters from Super Mario to Pokemon and sold 200 million units worldwide.

NPD: US retail video game sales fell in September

Oct 14, 2011

(AP) -- U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories dipped 4 percent to $1.13 billion in September, according to market researcher NPD Group. Sales of the games themselves grew somewhat, but this was ...

US video game sales fell 4 percent in March

Apr 15, 2011

(AP) -- U.S. retail sales of video game systems, games and accessories fell 4 percent in March as game software sales declined, according to new data from an industry group.

Recommended for you

Developers explore game experience for the blind

59 minutes ago

Wait, researchers are talking about a video game for the blind? Come again? Not impossible. Game designers, reports the BBC, have been working on bringing the game experience to the blind and those with vision ...

User comments : 0