Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Game On 2.0

This summer a big video game exhibit came to Toronto and set up shop in the Ontario Science Centre. I got a chance to go check it out earlier this week and it was pretty interesting. A ton of consoles set up with games from through the ages. Combat on the Atari, Mario Kart on the SNES, Ocarina of Time on the N64. The last game ever put out on the Dreamcast. A really old punch card driven computer. Lots of cool stuff!

The very first thing they had was a set of Pachinko machines. They weren't plugged in/turned on/lit up and you couldn't try them out, but just seeing them brought back memories of my trip to Japan. I went looking for my pictures from that trip but it turns out I hitched my wagon to the wrong photo site back then. It would seem myphotoalbum doesn't even exist anymore, so all my captions and such are all gone. Boo! On the plus side I think I have a copy on an old laptop somewhere, and I'm a little motivated to find them now, so maybe I'll be able to dig them up.

The exhibit had a lot of video game systems, but unless I missed something I'm a little disappointed that I have at least two systems in my apartment that they didn't have. I can see skipping a Super Famicom since they did have a Super Nintendo and a couple of foreign games on other consoles but not having an Intellivision was pretty surprising. They didn't have a Colecovision either! They did have some other consoles with ridiculous controllers though, like an Atari Jaguar and a Neo Geo.

They even had a computer set up with World of Warcraft on it, and an account set up for the exhibit, which was pretty sweet. They also had a bunch of xBoxes set up to play, I think, 8 player Halo. A machine for Super Smash Bros Melee. A Kinect with a motion controlled version of Rez was pretty interesting too. They also had a gigantic virtual reality ball but the line to use it was going to be over an hour. I have a hard time with actual reality though, so I don't know that I wanted to get locked into a huge weird metal ball and roll around in a virtual world.

One thing I noticed is I apparently have a big gap in my video game knowledge. There were a bunch of games set up that I'd never played or even heard of. Not the old stuff... No, it's the stuff from '99 forward. I played more than my fair share of games while in University, but there it was mostly card games, board games, or SNES games. Josh used to get PlayStation games from StarCity so I did play a few somewhat recent games for a couple years, but even then it was just the subset of games Josh wanted to play. A very good subset, don't get me wrong (GALERIANS! GALERIANS!), but not a completely comprehensive one. So many games, so little time... And at the time, no money at all. And then after I graduate and started working I pretty much played World of Warcraft exclusively for many years. No regrets at all, just a little odd thing I noticed.

We also wandered around the science centre itself for a while. I'd never been there before, but it did remind me of the Crystal Palace Science Centre back in Dieppe. I wonder if that place still exists? Anyway, it was a lot like that, only way way bigger and cooler. And louder and brighter. And they have a Mars rock! Apparently there are fewer than 40 of them on the planet, and the Ontario Science Centre owns one of them. That's pretty awesome. They're apparently importing some leaf cutting ants from the rain forest. Or they will once customs lets them, anyway. They had plenty of cool experiments and things to play around with. A lot of it was clearly designed for kids, but I still really liked it. Maybe I'm just a giant kid. A giant kid with a freakishly large wingspan if I was a bird and a really high pulse. A giant kid with no endurance because man was I tired out after just 4 hours of walking around the place. And my feet hurt. Probably because I just bought new shoes and they aren't broken it/don't fit well/aren't very good? Which reminds me a lot of my trip to Japan, where I also had new shoes and where my feet also hurt a lot...

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