National Media Museum blog

We explore the science, technology and art of the still and moving image, and its impact on our lives.

Games Lounge has reopened

I’m happy to report that the Games Lounge has now reopened and has been relocated to Level 5 in the Museum. The much-loved Games Lounge that was situated in the Foyer was closed in November 2011 to make way for the new Life Online gallery. Due to its popularity we then decided to rebuild the videogames gallery within a more permanent space up on the fifth floor next to the Animation Gallery.

Inside the new Games Lounge

Inside the new Games Lounge

All of the old favourites are still there including a collection of original arcade cabinets and cocktail tables. Titles include four-player Gauntlet, Pac-Man, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Galaxian, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter II and Point Blank.

Our bank of home gaming classics including Pong, Manic Miner, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Super Mario Kart and four-player GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64 are also still available for you to enjoy, plus we’ve added a few bonus features.

To connect with the Animation Gallery, the new Games Lounge highlights how different types of animation are used within videogames. An emulated PC version of Prince of Persia from 1989 showcases the technique of rotoscoping – a method that involves the animator drawing over the top of video footage frame-by-frame to create fluid movement. You can watch the original video footage filmed by the game’s designer Jordan Mechner on YouTube:

Mechner filmed his brother leaping and sliding around a car park to achieve exactly the right type of movement for the Prince’s character. Mechner has also done a fantastic job of archiving his original design journals and personal diaries from the period when he was producing the game. Mechner was kind enough to let us use some of the scans from his notebook within the Games Lounge to show how a designer approaches creating levels, characters and puzzles.

Take a look at Jordan Mechner’s website to find out more.

Actua Soccer by Gremlin Interactive is also available to play on the PlayStation 1 console as one of the earliest games to show the potential of motion-captured animation. Gremlin used players from the Sheffield Wednesday football team to act out real movements and breathe human life into the 3D computer models – something that has now become a standard technique in modern sports games.

We’ve also been working with designer Richard England to produce a Microsoft Kinect interactive to demonstrate how the camera detects and tracks human movement. A projection cycles through an assortment of experimental particle effects to demonstrate the flexibility and open architecture of the Kinect software.

So if you’re hankering for some retro arcade gaming action or interested to see the latest videogames technology, make sure to pay a visit to our brand new Games Lounge. Also, if you’ve visited and would like to leave a comment it’d be great to know what you think. We’re always looking for ways to make our galleries better so please do contribute your thoughts.

Advertisements

About Tom Woolley

I'm the Curator of New Media at the National Media Museum. Recent galleries I've worked on include Life Online, an exploration of the history and social impact of the internet and the Games Lounge videogames exhibition. I also help programme the game events for the Bradford Animation Festival, and help build the Museum's New Media Collection and National Videogame Archive. I like to post links and talk about what I had for breakfast on Twitter @tcwoolley

5 comments on “Games Lounge has reopened

  1. Pingback: RetroRevX » Games Lounge reopens @ National Media Museum

  2. impeus
    May 10, 2012

    I love the space but it is a shame that Rainbow Islands in the MAME cab is unplayable due to having only the one button for fire and jump.

  3. Tom
    May 14, 2012

    hello, yes, the MAME cab does need an extra button – an oversight on our part. I’ll talk to our technical team to see if they can remedy the missing button.

  4. Chris
    June 17, 2012

    Any chance of any new arcade cabinets coming to the exhibit? would love to play Galaga, 1942, Joust, Tempest and a few other classics in thir original form! Actually I know of a few Space Invaders part 2 cabinets amongst other classics at an arcade near the pleasure beach in blackpool that would be great here. They probably need a little overhaul though nothing major! would be good to add more to the exhibit! 🙂

  5. Tom Woolley
    June 18, 2012

    Hi Chris – thanks for your suggestions. We do hope to swap the cabinets around in the future so it’s good to know what you’d like to play. Might have to make a little research trip to Blackpool to experience these Space Invaders Part 2 cabs you mention. 🙂

Respond to this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Latest Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: