ZKM_Gameplay is the new permanent exhibition on the theme of video games and experimented forms of play. Since its opening in 1997, numerous computer games have been presented at the Media Museum in Karlsruhe, since these reflect an essential part within modern society heavily influenced by digitalized realities of life. For centuries new artistic, experimental, media-reflective as well as »serious« games have evolved. The cultural and economic power of digital games and gameplay have experienced and continuous growth. This has made the games an important object of the ZKM.
ZKM_Gameplay extends across the entire 2nd floor of the Media Museum. A varied selection of exhibits is on display. A large area is dedicated to works of game art ranging both from art which has computer games as its subject, and computer games designed by artists. Added to this are computer and video games, which illustrate the entire range of the medium and make these experienceable in the Media Museum.
One main area of focus is taken up by independent games and serious games; approaches which have distinguished themselves, for example, by particularly innovative games ideas, an interesting experimental claim, a powerful cultural effect, or an unique consciousness of its own means and forms of expression. The exhibition’s special highlights are, among others, »The Night Journey« by media artist Bill Viola or »Long March: Restart« by Chinese Feng Mengbo. The artis Mary Flanagan is represented by her work »[giantJoystick]«: the three-meter high sculpture consists of a functioning joystick. Due to its size it has to be operated by at least two persons with unified forced. Further games are for example »Braid« by Jonathan Blows oder »Krautscape« by Mario von Rickenbach. Classics, such as »Pong«, »Pac-Man« or »Super Mario World« are presented at the new »World of Computer Games« as well.
The age ratings of the games range from 0 to 12 years old. Most of the games are suitable for children, but may also appeal to adults in the same way. Furthermore, there are a few games, which are recommended until the age of 16.