World of Games. Reloaded
Sun, October 31, 2004

Interactivity is best illustrated by video and computer games, which nowadays are to be found in virtually every household and countless children’s rooms. An updated presentation of computer games on the second floor of the Media Museum provides an additional insight into the exhibition »Algorithmic Revolution. On the History of Interactive Art«. »World of Games : reloaded« is an extension of the previous presentation of video and computer game ‘classics’ of recent years, which from now on is to be updated at regular intervals.<br />
The video game »Tennis for Two« [1958] ranks as one of the first of its kind. William Higinbotham, the then head of the Instrumentation Division at the U.S. Administration’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, devised the game for visitors to the laboratory when he realised they were bored by the mostly static displays. The game, which at the time consisted of an analogue computer and an oscillograph, marks the start of a development which depended very much on the progress of computer technology and for which the ZKM will provide documentary evidence. The games of the following years, which were equally simple in graphical terms, were devised primarily on the mainframe computers of American universities and institutions, »Spacewar« [1962], being developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT], for instance. The television technology of the 1970s saw the arrival of coin-operated amusement machines, for which the term »video games« was devised. These video games gradually became established and the development of game consoles made them increasingly attractive not just for the amusement arcades but also for home users. The advent of the home and personal computer led to the emergence of two technically different types of video game: the »tele-game«, which was played on special home consoles, and the »computer game«. In the early 1980s the video game market collapsed for a variety of reasons and game production dropped until Nintendo succeeded in launching a new era. The history of these games is illustrated in an »ancestral portrait gallery«. Artistic installations document the wide area of applications for game technology, while a selection of the latest games illustrates the state of the art.