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PLAY it! Video game heaven at the Museum of Science and Industry

Retro video game heaven at a new exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry...

Paul Feeley finds himself in video game heaven at the launch of PLAY it! at the Museum of Science and Industry…

Contrary to popular belief, the first coin-operated video game to be sold commercially sold (and the first widely available game of any kind) was a game called Computer Space which was made in 1971 by Nolan Bushnell & Ted Dabney.

‘Every console I could think
of was there right in front
of me, from the Amstrad and
Commodore 64 to the Xbox360
and Playstation 3′

It wasn’t until 1972, however, that video games would actually become popular with the release of the iconic Pong, also by Bushnell & Dabney. Could they have imagined that the video game industry would develop from these two very simple creations into the behemoth it has become today with Hollywood A list casts & multi-million pound budgets?

The development of the video game is a massive part of technological advancement, so where better than the Museum of Science and Industry to celebrate its evolution from Pong to Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V, the most expensive game made at over $265m-more than most Hollywood movies!

MOSI’s commercial exhibition manager Andy Gray says the museum has wanted to do something like this for a long time. “Video games are a massive part of our culture now and the technology behind this culture is constantly evolving. We wanted to show video games from the beginning so that when people come in they can be looking and going “I remember playing this as a kid”, pick up a controller and start playing what they loved as a child. They can even bring their children in too and let them experience what the adults played when they were children. It’s a great experience for everyone of all ages to enjoy whether you’re a gamer or not.”

Playit At MOSI Manchester 9 Of 18

It certainly worked for me. From the second I walked onto the exhibition floor, I was in video game heaven. Little pixel characters of red and green (can you guess the game?) trying to save a princess from what looked like a dragon. A little blue hedgehog named Sonic trying to defeat an evil doctor named Robotnik. The memories hit hard like they’ve come from Street Fighters own Ryu landing a hard Haduken on you. You just can’t help but be transported back to your childhood.

Every console I could think of was there right in front of me, from the Amstrad and Commodore 64 to the Xbox360 and Playstation 3, including my all time favourite game – Goldeneye 007 for the N64, arguably the best, most enjoyed multiplayer game developed. Gamers the world over consider Goldeneyes Multiplayer to be the blueprint for today’s multiplayer games like Call of Duty & Halo.

Playit At MOSI Manchester 15 Of 18

I couldn’t resist the temptation. Two games of James Bond v Master Chief. One victory, one defeat. James Bond v Masterchef would have been easier but definitely not as challenging.

With six separate zones to choose from and over 120 games spanning a good 35/40 year time frame, it can become very easy to get lost in what to see or play as there really is something for everyone from every point in gaming history with a few surprise appearances that you might not be expecting.

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer who wants to come along with friends and pit yourself against each other or you’ve come to relive some 80s/90s nostalgia from your youth, or even a day out with the family, the team at MOSI really have gone to great lengths to provide something for everyone’s tastes from old school original video games like Pong, 80s retro classics like Super Mario & Sonic, 90s action of Tomb Raider, Street Fighter & Goldeneye right through to today’s blockbusters like Halo and even Minecraft. There is even a playable demo of the amazing Oculus a virtual reality headset, which many in the gaming community are calling the next big thing.

PLAY It! is at the Museum of Science and Industry from 25th July until 9th August

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