Videogames in the museum: participation, possibility and play in curating meaningful visitor experiences

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In 2014 Videogames in the Museum [1] engaged with creative practitioners, games designers, curators and museums professionals to debate and explore the challenges of collecting and exhibiting videogames and games design. Discussions around authorship in games and games development, the transformative effect of the gallery on the cultural reception and significance of videogames led to the exploration of participatory modes and playful experiences that might more effectively expose the designer’s intent and enhance the nature of our experience as visitors and players. In proposing a participatory mode for the exhibition of videogames this article suggests an approach to exhibition and event design that attempts to resolve tensions between traditions of passive consumption of curated collections and active participation in meaning making using theoretical models from games analysis and criticism and the conceit of game and museum spaces as analogous rules based environments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2016
EventAssociation of Art Historians 2016 Annual Conference and Bookfair: In and Out of Art History - the Video Games Conundrum - University of Endinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Apr 20169 Apr 2016
Conference number: 42nd


ConferenceAssociation of Art Historians 2016 Annual Conference and Bookfair
Abbreviated titleAAH 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Videogames
  • Games design
  • Curators
  • Museum
  • Exhibition
  • Agency
  • Participation
  • Rules
  • Play
  • Possibility space
  • Co-creation
  • Meaning-making


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