The New York-based American Museum of the Moving Image has announced that it is expanding one of its core exhibits, Behind The Screen, to include a permanent video game element, Interacting with the Screen, and it will hold two special programs this weekend with home video game inventor Ralph Baer and a panel of game designers to help commemorate the announcement.
According to the museum, Interacting with the Screen "documents the earliest days of video, computer, and arcade games through artifacts, playable games, and educator-led demonstrations." Artifacts on display include the first video arcade game Computer Space
(1971) from Nolan Bushnell, who later formed Atari; the Odyssey TV Game (1972), the first home video game system; Atari's iconic Pong
arcade and home games (1972, 1975); and Ralph Baer's TV Game #2 and Brown Box.
Visitors will also be able to play the classic arcade games Space Invaders
(1978), Super Breakout
(1978), and Asteroids
(1977), the first game offered on the Atari 2600 VCS; and Adventureland
(1978) on an Apple II+ personal computer (1979). In daily demonstrations, visitors will also learn about how current computer games can be modified (modded) by audiences using software packaged with the game.
In addition, Ralph Baer, engineer and inventor, will make a rare public appearance on Saturday, April 22 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss his career in a Pinewood Dialogue moderated by Carl Goodman, Deputy Director and Director of Digital Media. Baer created the "Brown Box" prototype game system in 1968 and licensed it to Magnavox, leading to the release of the first publicly available video game console, the Odyssey TV Game.
Following this, a panel discussion "Game Design: Forward into the Past", will feature presentations by Eugene Jarvis, designer of the seminal 1980s arcade games Defender
and Robotron: 2084
; computer game designer Greg Costikyan, founder of Manifesto Games, which is creating an online distribution channel for independent games; and Eric Zimmerman, CEO of game design firm Gamelab and co-author of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. The program is moderated by Keith Feinstein, Founder and Curator of Videotopia, a video game collection and traveling exhibition. More information is available on the official MOMI website