The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne has long played host to exhibitions chronicling the history of digital and interactive media, from 2008's Game On exhibition tracking the growth of gaming culture from the arcade era to the present to the current Screen Worlds, a permanent exhibition following the history and development of the moving image.
Keeping up with this tradition, the ACMI today announced a new four-month-long gaming exhibition set to open in June 2012. Game Masters will pay tribute to some of the gaming industry's greatest video game developers, with over 125 playable games spanning arcade-era hits, PCs and consoles, and the mobile era.
The exhibition--which will be presented as part of ACMI's Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2012--will run from June 28 to October 28, 2012, and it will feature over 40 game designers and their games, including Tomohiro Nishikado (Space Invaders, 1978), Ed Logg (Asteroids, 1979), Toru Iwatani (Pac-Man, 1980), Yu Suzuki (Hang On, 1983), Paulina Bozek (SingStar, 2004), Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear, 1987), Yuji Naka and the Sonic Team (Sonic the Hedgehog, 1991), Fumito Ueda (Ico, 2001, Shadow of the Colossus, 2005, The Last Guardian), Alex Rigopulos (Guitar Hero, 2005), Tim Schafer (Full Throttle, 1984), and Warren Spector (Disney's Epic Mickey, 2010).
The exhibition will also include well-known Australian game designers, with more to be announced closer to the exhibition's opening. All the work featured in the exhibition will be presented through a combination of concept artwork, newly commissioned interviews, and playable games.
The ACMI will also explore independent game development in Game Masters, showcasing designers such as Jenova Chen (Flower, 2009) and Matsaya Matsuura (PaRappa the Rapper, 1996) alongside independent Australian game designers like Melbourne-based Firemint (Flight Control, 2009).
UK game designer and Lionhead Studios head Peter Molyneux (Populous, 1989, Black & White, 2001, Fable series, 2004) was present via video message at the Game Masters announcement in Melbourne today, revealing he will be the first international guest to attend the world premiere of the exhibition in Melbourne next June.
"I never imagined when I started out in this industry that there would be an exhibition like the Game Masters exhibition," Molyneux said in the message. "Imagine a thousand square meters of games. Imagine walking through an exhibition where you can touch, see, play, and be inspired by what's there. And for me, computer games are an incredible cultural influence. It's an incredible honor to be part of the exhibition."
Game Masters will also feature what the ACMI describes as "unique" gaming experiences, including the 3D version of Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Child of Eden (2011) and a multiplayer dance stage for a large-scale version of Alex Rigopulos' Dance Central 2 (2011). Classic arcade games from the 1970s and 1980s will also be playable in their original form during Game Masters.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of public, film, and education programs.
Game Masters is ACMI's first entirely homegrown exhibition for the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces initiative. It will open at ACMI on June 28 and run through to October 28, 2012.