Sunday, 29 March 2015

Dash & Bash goes live at the National Videogame Arcade

This Saturday marked the grand opening of the National Videogame Arcade, the UK's first dedicated gaming museum, in Nottingham.

It also marked the first example of my work being on show long-term in a museum: Dash & Bash is set up the first floor, on a specially designed gaming wall, and open to all visitors!

Dash & Bash was originally designed for GameCity in October 2014, and I've polished and improved  it for an even better experience in the museum setting. The game is played by up to four players, on four screens and four big green buttons. Each player is given a picture card and tasked with finding which screen it's on, through a series of reactions-based, observation-based and sabotage-based challenges.

The game proved incredibly popular with players at the launch party, and the improvements I made to the user interface had clearly paid off, with players able to come to it with no existing knowledge of the game and dive right in.

One of my proudest moments was seeing the big picture on the wall by the turnstyles. Guess which game is being played in the photo!

Rather than simply showing off classic gaming hardware and paraphernalia, the aim of the museum is to demonstrate play as a creative act, to shine a spotlight on how games are made, and to encourage visitors to explore games as a creative medium. I feel this is a really important message for our industry to broadcast. Games are more than just consumable products created within impenetrable walls by major studios. Games are for everyone, games can be made by everyone, and games reach beyond consoles and mobile phones.

This is where I see the biggest benefit in having a public space for video games. It allows experimental work which uses physical space - and explores the medium beyond the screen - to have a platform to reach an audience and ask questions about what games can be.

As such, I can't wait to see the National Videogame Arcade flourish, and am incredibly proud to be able to show my work there!