Game On 2.0 at the Ontario Science Center

60 years of gaming history in one hands-on learning exhibit at the Ontario Science Center.

“But it’s the biggest video game celebration in the world! THE WORLD!”

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 “Honey, it’s happening in Canada. Nobody knows what you’re talking about.”

I have been in a Facebook Event for this thing for months. MONTHS. I’ve linked it everywhere, talked incessantly about it off and on, and been generally excited, thrilled, and altogether embarrassingly happy about going to this smorgasbord for the undeniably dorky.

From Pong to Guitar Hero, the Ontario Science Center located in Toronto, Ontario (which is undeniably the coolest city in the world, just sayin’) is hosting Game On 2.0, an exhibition that claims to be the largest celebration of video games in the world. It features over 150 playable games and tracks over 60 years of gaming history for the first time in Canada.

The exhibit covers game design, development, character art, some of history’s most influential arcade machines and some of the most obscure. From the nostalgia of coin-operated arcade games to the latest in virtual reality and 3D gaming, this exhibit has collated it all and set it up all for your viewing (and hands-on) pleasure.

And that’s the part that thrills me, because the Science Center is one of those places that combines learning and entertainment, making this one of the most perfect exhibits for it that I’ve been looking forward to in a long time. As much as I enjoy the prospect of a chiptune fantasy world where I virtually fight-sim my way through a legion of robots and starships, I also really am interested in learning more about the business behind the multi-billion dollar industry that has managed to consume so much of my life.

(the Virtusphere, for fully-immersive virtual simulation, photo via GameOver.gr)

I want to learn about it because I want to be a part of it, professionally as well as personally. Do what you love, right? And the exhibit offers insight into both.

Furthermore, it remains a spot of bright news from the Ontario government (which thankfully does not include Toronto mayor Rob Ford doing another new stupid thing) – they seem pretty well pleased to be riding along on this particular MarioKart:

“The phenomenon of video games continues to grow in popularity, with Ontario being the hub of this thriving creative sector industry,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “By exploring this prevalent part of our culture, the Ontario Science Centre’s Game On 2.0 exhibition will have widespread appeal for visitors of all ages. Our government is delighted to assist the centre in bringing this exhibition to Canada.”

After so much tiresome news vilifying video games for their effects on violent behavior, it remains a refreshing sight whenever the political machine has any positive comments to make about my nerd love.

Game On 2.0 runs from Mar 9 – Sept 2, 2013 and is included in the price of general admission to the Ontario Science Center.


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Author
Image of Stephanie Tang
Stephanie Tang
Avid PC gamer, long-time console lover. I enjoy shooting things in the face and am dangerously addicted to pretty. I'm also a cat.