Major video game exhibition to open in Edinburgh next summer

Game On, the largest interactive exhibition of the history and the culture of video games, will return to Edinburgh next summer. The exhibition, featuring iconic characters and games ranging from Space Invaders to Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario to Minecraft, runs from 29 June to 3 November 2024 at the National Museum of Scotland.

Game On, an exhibition conceived and curated by Barbican Immersive, examines the creative and technological advances that have established a new medium and artform. In Game On, visitors explore gaming's rich history by playing many of the key games produced over the last 50 years.  

The exhibition will open over 20 years after the National Museum of Scotland was its very first touring venue in October 2002, after its initial opening run at the Barbican in London.  

Since then, over five million people of all ages, have visited this highly interactive exhibition in 24 cities around the world.

Patrick Moran, Game On Associate Curator, said: “The gaming world has had an undeniable social, cultural, and technological impact. Games transcend the boundaries between art and technology, becoming part of popular culture. Game On presents the opportunity to not only see the evolution of video games and how they have diversified, but also lets to immerse yourself inside the gaming world allowing you to play with over 100 playable games. The show features the largest playable collection in the world, including original arcade, handle hand, and console games, including Pac-Man, Super Mario, Tetris, Minecraft, Just Dance and FIFA. The exhibition also explores new advances in the gaming world. Highly interactive, all action, groundbreaking and popular, Game On is engaging for hardcore gamers and visitors new to the gaming, the show is suitable for players of all ages.”

Dr Geoff Belknap, Keeper of Science and Technology at National Museums Scotland said: “It’s great to welcome Game On back to the National Museum of Scotland. As someone in charge of science and technology collections, it’s exciting to see the rapid changes in gaming technologies over the last 20 years reflected in this exhibition through objects which I used to have in my own living room. The exhibition has been continually updated at each new touring venue since the early 2000s, when the show was first in Edinburgh, and so we look forward to bringing the story of video gaming right up to date here in Scotland, where the industry today is so vibrant.”

The exhibition is organised in thematic sections, inviting visitors to explore game design and technological parallels across the decades. The sections explore different types of gaming, from handheld to home console to arcade machines across a range of genres, as well as wider cultural aspects such as the links between gaming and both music and film.

The exhibition will be supported by a programme of public events.


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