View Full Version : Game On Exhibit Dublin, Ireland

30-09-10, 12:33
I meant to post about the Game On exhibit currently running in Dublin earlier, but I have been snowed under with laziness lately. Anyway the show is basically an interactive tour through the history of video games from Pong and Computer Space all the way up to the current generation of games.



The exhibit is roughly arranged into a few key sections; Early History, Arcade, Early Home Consoles, Handhelds and Modern Consoles. Each area is predominantly filled with games to play, but there is also some informational displays littered along the walls.


There are more than a hundred games in the exhibit and most systems are represented. Some of my personal highlights included:

Donkey Kong (Arcade)
Ms. Pac-Man (Arcade)
Galaga (Arcade)
Virtua Fighter (Arcade)
Virtua Fighter 4 (PS2)
Freeway (Atari 2600)
Rock Band: The Beatles (Xbox 360)
Hey You Pikachu (N64)
Pilotwings (SNES)
Tempest 2000 (Atari Jaguar)
Star Wars (Arcade, sit down cabinet)
The MAME Projector (Pictured Below)


There where loads of other noteworthy games though, including a full Steel Battalion set up and ten player Saturn Bomberman on a big screen. Sadly I didn’t get to try either of these out as Steel Battalion was always busy and nobody was playing Bomberman!


I found the Computer Space/Space War set up rather odd. There are two Computer Space cabinets in the exhibit entrance, but neither of them when turned on while I was there. There was a corner of the exhibit devoted to Space War, with an inactive PDP-10 and display railed off. You could play Space War beside this display, but it was on a Vectrex that utilised an arcade style control panel instead of its own controller.


I did find some of the game choices unusual though. There are quite a number of games that don’t really suit short play sessions, such as Final Fantasy, Zelda and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. These are all noteworthy titles for sure, but a large portion of the console/computer games where ignored.


I would also say that the exhibit requires better maintenance. I came across quite a number of machines that didn’t work right, such as the projector Pong, PC Engine and most of the handhelds.

Game On costs €10 for 1 hour, €16 for 2 hours and €20 for 3 hours. The exhibit tours around the world and I would say that it’s well worth a visit despite some minor gripes.

More Photos (http://picasaweb.google.com/103353752748719317688/GameOnExhibit?feat=directlink)
More Info (http://www.gameon-dublin.ie/home/)
Promo Photos (http://collinspr.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/GAME-ON/G0000WKl3YO2.0MY/I0000f5XJxUvMt4s/P0000Hw4nCd4ylNs)

Gordon Bennett
04-10-10, 11:01
I saw the exhibit a few years ago in London, when they had the only Wii and PS3 consoles in Europe to try as extras. It's certainly worth your time and the cost of entry, if nothing else than to have some time with the games. I thought there were some well chosen picks for the computers and older consoles.

It's a shame that some seem to have broken down over time. Everything was working with the possible exception of the handhelds. They were all under glass. If there are some now that are playable and work, it's a nice addition. It was quite frustrating to see some of the unusual ones and not have a chance to try them at all.

04-10-10, 11:52
Sounds really cool. There was a similar exhibit in Chicago a few years back that I never got a chance to get to.

05-10-10, 09:15
To be fair the vast majority of stuff was working fine and it really wouldn't stop me recommending it. The handhelds where the biggest culprits, but it was great just being able to see some of those unusual items. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the handhelds just required some new batteries.

I also noticed that the games in the machines didn't always match the game that was playing. For example, one of the Atari 2600's had Pitfall! in the cart slot, but Freeway as actually playing on the screen. I assume the games are actually running on emulators behind the scenes, but at least you do use the real controllers.

If nothing else events like this raise awareness of the history of video games, which can only be a good thing in my opinion.