According to ““House of Elsewhere”, theirs is the only public institution of its kind in the world.
A true museum of science fiction, utopia and extraordinary journeys, their current exhibition called Playtime — Videogame mythologies, is an exhibition devoted to the culture of video games. It explores how the relationship between play, the various manners of gaming, and technology interrelate. An interactive presentation displays historical documents, examples of GameArt and innovative games.
I found their account of Assault on Reality, particularly interesting:
“Play is not an innocent activity that only children engage in; play, simulation and enactment are present in multiple dimensions of society. Today, the connection between reality and games is more ambiguous and blurred than what we have traditionally thought.
From war games and military simulacra to the simulation of financial markets, or the use of games in management, the power of taking decisions through playing strategies is increasingly finding strength in multiple domains.
Mobile technologies are putting games into the pockets of commuters and filling empty hours, and new disciplines like location based and augmented reality games are avoiding synthetic worlds and using our everyday surroundings as the scenarios for game experiences. Today game designers who are developing experiences where the real and the virtual mingle in unexpected ways.
In the opposite direction, reality is also entering the narratives of games through the introduction of politics, activism, education and propaganda in the arguments of video games. Serious games and political games, used in political campaigns and pedagogic efforts, are one side of the coin; activist projects and propaganda are other examples of the capacity of games to modify reality.”
The Maison d’Ailleurs (translated as “House of Elsewhere”), is a museum of science fiction, utopia and extraordinary journeys in Yverdon-les-Bains (Switzerland). It is a non-profit foundation functioning both as a public museum and a specialized research center.
The Maison d’Ailleurs is the only public institution of its kind in the world.
Throughout 2012, various events, happenings and mediation actions at Yverdon-les-Bains and in French- speaking Switzerland are being held in addition to the exhibition. They highlight the current state of research in the field and bring to a wide audience a chance to discover the broad range of registers in video games art.
If you happen to be in Switzerland and are so lucky to visit the exhibition, please give us a report, I do have the intention of being there, if and when, report will follow.