GROWING UP, I had a closer-than-usual relationship with Atari’s games: with a close family member who worked at the then-young Silicon Valley company, I had access to dozens of games, sometimes even in pre-release builds. With most of the games I played existing only on floppy disks, this mind-bending cover art (not to mention any sort of packaging, background info, or instruction manual) was totally absent from the experience. This meant contending not only with the games’ built-in learning curves, but also figuring out the frequently bizarre lore and background stories of the games only through their totemic, rudimentary pixel art.
GAME ON IS A massive exhibition spanning the entire history of videogames, from Tennis for Two to home consoles, and from massive arcade cabinets to VR headsets. Originally curated by the Barbican Centre, the exhibition came to Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Spring 2016.