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Displaying Games in the Museum : Lets Play!

Lets Play!

Game Design and the Everyday Life

Displaying Games in the Museum

In the games research mailing lists there’s been a discussion around exhibiting games in museums recently. A large portion of the argument is around two main ways of displaying games. First, to display games as games, whether this means a design, an interactive play piece or a way of showing the social and the community happening. I have myself been involved in similar discussions at Tekniska Museet, here in Stockholm, Sweden, where they are right now working on a project to save games for the future, and where the social part is one of the big issues. How do you preserve something like World of Warcraft, where a large portion of the game is to meet people? If you play it in fifty years, all the servers will be empty! Then other solutions is necessary to be able to show this for the future museum audience. Secondly, there is a discussion on displaying games as art. This is often more obvious, as these are exhibits with an artist displaying something, as it is meant to be seen right now. But also here there are of course problems with documenting this for the future.

As I know several of my readers are interested in the subject I have gathered the main references cited in the discussion. I hope some of these will be of use for you, and as always, feel free to comment if you have special interests and I will do my best to answer or send you on to someone who can!

Here are the references:

Also, there are lots of references to MOMA’s work with collecting gmaes:

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