Friday, 18 February 2005
get your trigger fingers ready for the opening of the new expanded acmi games lab
In just thirty years, computer games have become a massive cultural phenomenon and arguably one of the most powerful and popular forms of the moving image.
Games have surpassed cinema as the fastest growing and highest earning form of entertainment. In Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook Report (2003), PricewaterhouseCoopers quoted the 2002 global market for interactive video game software to be worth $A40.9 billion, surpassing the total global film box office takings of $A39.6 billion.
Victoria is the hub of the booming Australian games industry and in the exciting hands-on space of Games Lab ACMI will showcase the most interesting games and developments in game culture by local and international developers.
Games Lab will change the way you think about games. They are not necessarily violent or about winning. And it is not only teenage boys that play them - the average age of gamers is 28 and games attract ever-increasing numbers of female players. In Australia, every second home has a personal computer and one in five now has a dedicated games console.
Games Lab Programmer Helen Stuckey says:
'The creation and coming-of-age of the computer game is one of the most significant developments in moving image culture. Through Games Lab, ACMI will not only be able to celebrate the past, present and future of the computer games, it will be able to delve deeper into their major role as a fascinating reflection of our culture.'
State of Play: Games with an Agenda
Tuesday 22 March - Wednesday 8 June, ACMI Games Lab
with special international guest: Gonzalo Frasca (USA)
Signalling the opening of the revamped Games Lab will be a themed selection of games in State of Play: Games with an Agenda, including 15 new computer games that dare to make a statement about certain political situations through creative, fun and engaging interactivity. Three Australian designed games are featured in the space, including Donkey John and Escape from Woomera, as well as a broad selection of games emerging from the United States.
Five of the games presented in State of Play have been created by internationally renowned videogame developer and researcher Gonzalo Frasca (USA), who will be in Melbourne for the Games Lab launch and will speak at ACMI on Wednesday 23 March. Frasca is known for co-designing Howard Dean for President, the first official endorsed videogame ever to be produced for the USA Presidential campaign and Cambiemos, another official game for the Uruguayan presidential campaign. Using his work to test the boundaries of what effects computer games have on people, Frasca and his peers believe that games can be more than just fun. They can be educational, take on new forms of activism or can even change somebody's beliefs or thinking.
Serious video games: Gonzalo Frasca: playing with fire
Wednesday 23 March 7pm, ACMI Cinemas
Are computer games capable of being more than just fun? Can they change public opinion? Join leading American games designer and theorist Gonzalo Frasca, brought to Australia for the first time by ACMI, to consider these questions, and learn about video games rhetorics, advergaming and political games from an international authority.
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