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Game On 2.0 opens to public

From Sonic to Samus, Mario to Minecraft, Game On 2.0 is the biggest collection of playable computer games in the world – and its coming to Newcastle’s Life Science Centre.

Charting the history and evolution of computer games over the past 60 years, this major international exhibition will open on 23 May 2015 for a five month stay.

Visitors will be able to explore the vibrant history, culture and future of gaming entertainment and technology through more than 100 playable games. Retro lovers can play on retro consoles and computers from the 1970s and there’s a dedicated arcade games section, including Space Invaders, Donkey Kong and Daytona USA. The gaming journey takes visitors through the decades up to contemporary favourites, including Microsoft Xbox One Nintendo Wii U and Sony Playstation 4 with games such as Halo, Gran Turismo and Rock Band.

Game On 2.0 takes an in-depth look at the people and technologies that have revolutionised games and how we play them. It explores the design process from concept to marketing for some of the most important games of recent times: Mario, Pokémon, Sonic, Uncharted, World of Warcraft, Tomb Raider and the Sims.

Linda Conlon, Chief Executive at Life, said: “We’re very excited to be bringing this world-class exhibition to Newcastle which I’m sure will appeal to all ages. It’s a delightful retrospective, tapping into nostalgia and highlighting the role gaming plays in our society today.”

She added: “Video games have become such an integral part of our lives, changing the way we play, learn and interact. Their evolution from what was essentially a child’s play activity through to a fully immersive experience is phenomenal. In such a short space of time, the video gaming market has become hugely important to the UK, including here in the North East where we have a wealth of expertise.”

During the exhibition’s run at Life, visitors will have the opportunity to meet with animators, artists, programmers and designers working in the region’s gaming industry. Ian Simmons, Director of Science Communication at Life, said: “How games are created is fascinating and our visitors will have the opportunity to meet some of the people involved. From designers showing how they create landscapes and characters for games, through to programmers showing how they build game engines or university researchers showing how they have adapted game technologies for research purposes – there’ll be the chance to see how wide-ranging the career opportunities are in this field.”

One of the Newcastle based companies getting involved in the exhibition, is Reflections a Ubisoft studio, established for over 30 years in the region, Reflections is one of the world’s top game development studios, responsible for such well-known games as Just Dance, Watch Dogs, The Crew, Driver and most recently, Grow Home.

Pauline Jacquey, MD of Reflections, said: “We are thrilled to be involved with Game On 2.0. It is really important for us to inspire young people in the North East to start making games. There is a huge skills shortage in the games industry and we are always looking for new talent in programming, games design, art and production.”

Game On 2.0 is an new version of the original Game On exhibition which was created by the Barbican in 2002 and went on to tour the world. This latest version of the exhibition brings it up to date with the very latest developments and games and looks ahead to new and emerging technologies such as virtual reality (VR) including the Oculus Rift.

Neil McConnon, Head of Barbican International Enterprises Department, Barbican Centre, London, said: “The Barbican is delighted to work with Life Science Centre to stage Game On 2.0 in Newcastle. Game On 2.0 celebrates games culture in all its myriad forms. We think it is particularly relevant that the exhibition will travel to the North East – an area that has made an important contribution to games development.”

Game On 2.0 is suitable for all ages depending on the game being played – some age restrictions may apply.

The exhibition is organised and toured by Barbican International Enterprises, London.

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