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Issue:-  23/24 December 2009

Videogame exhibition at FACT, Liverpool

WE headed over to see a new exhibition at the Fact in Liverpool on Thursday, 17 December 2009. This exhibition, called 'Space Invaders', is all about the computer games environment. The preview night was a huge success, and from what we could see, this exhibition is well worth a few visits. The exhibition explores the blurred boundaries between the videogame world and real space, with the use of artists who use gaming technology as subject, along the side of playable, commercial games that push the limits of the medium. Alongside of this are videogames, like 'House Of The Dead' and 'Space Invaders': these with other classic arcade machines, and massive games consoles that you can play on, make it even more entertaining. This sounds like a big concept and hard to take in, but both a 13 year old girl and a 75 year old, on the night of our visit, were both taken by the activities on offer and could see the connection by the end of it. This is a very good and effective tool in our view. Not only in educating and get people interested in the computer world, but also helping to get game form recognised as an art form and as an expressive medium, just like film, photography and video have been. The impact of gaming has had a massive effect on the world, from training fighter and airline pilots through to using games for just fun. This exhibition demonstrates just how much artistic work is behind it all. You might never have considered computer game graphics as a form of art, but after seeing this you might just have a rethink! For us, the most addictive was a massive screen with a game called 'The Night Journey' made by USC Game Innovation Lab in 2007. This is a really good use of virtual reality gaming; using simple information overlays of videos of physical objects and landscapes. The other one to stop at is the addictive, if annoyingly pointless, yet very stunning display of the 2009, That Game Company and Sony Play Station game, 'Flowers'. Just as 'The Night Journey', unlike what most of 'u can do', this is projected on a massive wall, so you get engrossed in it. You will find yourself following the flower petals as they fly around… But that is not all that's on offer as the exhibition also offers video game music; an example can be played on our quick video of this exhibition. Sorry for the low quality as it was shot on a mobile phone, but it will give you an idea of what we are talking about. This fantastic show runs until 21 February 2010. For more information go to the Fact advert page by clicking here or go to:-  Video and audio interview on the last page of our photographic report.

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