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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

videogame nation at Urbis

It's always worth a trip to the Urbis museum in central Manchester - it's a great building, the exhibitions are generally free or pretty cheap, and it's conveniently situated near to both Harvey Nicks and Selfridges. The current exhibition, videogame nation (note the lower-case letters of the name - perhaps an attempt to make what is an essentially retro display into something a bit more cutting edge?) runs until 20th September 2009, and will no doubt lure boys both young and old through its doors over the summer.

Not that gaming is just for boys - I remember my sister's Atari (hurrah for Dig Dug!) with great fondness, and I still have my Sega Megadrive in a box in the attic. Games have undoubtedly come a long way since these innocent pleasures - my husband, a normally peaceful man, spends many happy hours shooting and stabbing uncomfortably realistic opponents on his XBox - and they are the stars of this exhibition, which covers games from the last 30 years.

Rather gallingly, three teenage boys have been asked to review the exhibition on the museum's website, and their comments are enough to make you want to wheel your Zimmerframe to the edge of a cliff - one enjoyed playing on games "made before I was born", and even worse, another thinks "it's good to show people what games used to be like in the olden days." Go along and pretend you have never seen these games in your life.

videogame nation costs £3 for the exhibition, with some special events at £5 - check for full details.

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