Went on a trip to London with me Uni lot yesterday, where we went up to South Kensington for two exhibits, the first of which was 'Leonardo Da Vinci: Experience, Experiment and Design' at the V&A, which featured many of his sketches. Being a student, it only cost £4.50 to get in, but even then, once we got in it felt like a bit of a waste. The Exhibit was only one small room, with no photography allowed, and we had to put our bags in a cloakroom. What we got was his little paper doodles, which were, as expected, very finely detailed, sitting behind glass.
What we were most interested in seeing here, however, was the animation of the sketches being brought to life by Cosgrove Hall. We were kind of hoping this would be some sort of screening, but in the end it turned out to be some short animations on loop playing on the walls, and that's it. What a disappointing show up that was, I'm glad we didn't come up to London just for that alone. Most of us only stayed in there for about half an hour, than went down to Piccadilly to get something to eat.
When we got back, we went to for the 'Game On' Exhibit almost right next to the V&A in the Science Museum, in the same exact location (even the same room) as the Pixar exhibit I'd gone to not long ago. Now this was more like it! This is a far bigger exhibit, split into about 4 large rooms. They let us take camera's in too, so I took the opportunity to take as many as I wanted. This place was right up my alley.
So what did they have in there for our gaming pleasure? Lots, and lots, that's what. A bunch of old school coin ops? Check. Pong and Pac-man projected onto a huge wall? Check. Dozens of consoles set up to classics such as R-Type, REZ, Street Fighter II and Tempest 2000? Check. Guitar Hero on a whacking great big screen? Check. A Sega Saturn set up with six controllers to play Bomberman? Check.
There was more that just button bashing and joystick wiggling to be had, though. There was also artwork all other the place, with the star of the show being all these wall paintings by an illustrator who goes by the name of Jon Bugerman, including a loooong video game history time line.Also featured were pieces of original artwork by the creators of Mario and Sonic, cels and production art from Don Bluth's Dragon's lair, and concept art from the likes of Monkey Island, Jak + Daxter and the Sims.
Also on the look but don't touch side was some ancient relics of the gaming world, including Computer Space, one of the first ever arcade machines, that looks like a big glittery tentacle from outer space, and a funny looking cabinet called Man Eater that just so happens to be shaped like a shark. You could, however, jump into the classic Star Wars cabinet and give that a whirl.
We spent almost 2 hours in the place, and when I could finally drag myself out of there, satisfied with playing almost everything of interest there, popped into the gift shop and grabbed me one of the game On T-Shirt's and some badges. With that we hopped back on the train to go home. In the end it was a great day out, even if the Da Vinci exhibit was a disappointment. If you want to check out the Game On exhibit, it's on until the 25th of February and you can find on info on it at the Science Museum website here. It's hard to miss, just look for the huge Mario and Sonic!
Now prepare yourself for a HUGE collection of photos I grabbed when I could drag myself away from all those joysticks and buttons. Click on any of them to full view 'em.