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Video Game Revolution: From Pong to Esports – A new exhibit at MOSI

Exhibit opens Saturday, May 29

Over the past 60 years, video games have captured our hearts and imaginations as an exciting medium filled with countless adventures.

From computer to console to smartphone, video gaming continues to push the frontiers of technology and storytelling into new and exciting territories.

Experience the fun of play, the reward of design and the thrill of esports in this celebration of video gaming in our lives.

“The exhibit is going to truly bring generations together. From the 80’s style arcade games and then modern-day eSports everyone is going to have great time” -Rob Lamke, COO of MOSI

WATCH our walk through here with Tony from MOSI:

Map out your journey through the history of gaming:

Start – Time Tunnel

LED lighting, colorful conduit and exposed electronics gives visitors the impression that they are entering a jury-rigged time portal. The large-screen TV screen runs a video montage that gives the impression of traveling back in time through video game history. Guests are dubbed time travelers as they explore the exhibition.

Level I – Birth of Video Games

This level looks like a video game prototyping lab. Chalkboard drawings, circuit diagrams and brainstormed ideas depict the behind the scenes thinking of early gaming pioneers.

When Pong Blew People’s Minds | This level features Image slide shows of early video games as they were being developed in computer labs.

Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device | A fully working version of the earliest known electronic game that featured a display will allow guests to play the game on a screen as well as see the game as it was played on an oscilloscope.

Multiplayer Space Invaders | Four players battle to save the planet from an alien invasion.

Video Game Revolution
Missle Command Chair

Level II – Attack of the Arcade

This level looks like an arcade from the 80s with neon graphics illuminated by black lights and period movie posters.

“Taito” Table | Based on the original cocktail-style arcade table, players experience playing Centipede created by Carol Shaw.

Missile Command Chair | Players laser-blast missiles raining down on their cities using touchscreen tech.

When Pac-Man Fever was a Thing | Video montage of amazing trivia, gameplay videos, news and fun stuff from the 80s take visitors back to the arcade era.

Arcade Machine Madness | Marvel at hundreds of classic arcade machines minus the hunger for quarters.

Level III – The Rise of Home Gaming

Time travelers arriving in this level find themselves in a 90s-style rec room featuring mismatched furniture centered on the home arcade.

Pokémon and Goobas Invade the Home Video Kiosk | Video montage of 90s video game commercials, game trivia, characters, gameplay and fun are displayed on a stylized TV.

Wreck Room | Travelers are invited to play an overload of classic home video games in this stylized rec room from the past.

Rec Room Relics | An exciting collection of memorabilia of gaming consoles, games and gaming accessories highlight the nostalgia and battlefield tales from the first console wars.

Art of Atari | Gamers will get a humorous look at the differences between the video game box art and the actual games on a video kiosk.

Level IV – Play Anywhere, Anytime

Colorful “string” stretched across geometric frames creates patterns depicting the advent of networked multiplayer gaming across the world with aesthetic symbolism.

Master Chief Photo Op | Defend the humanity by becoming a UNSC soldier in this face-in-hole photo op featuring Halo.

Hall of Halo | View a collection of artifacts, toys and memorabilia from one of the most popular video game franchises in history.

The New Millennium of Gaming | This video kiosk features gameplay, trivia, mobile gaming, competitive gaming, advances in gaming tech and the popularity of gaming around the world.

Music to Play By | View the playlist of iconic video game music played throughout the exhibition.

Gaming Evolution | Witness the evolution of video game graphics in long-running franchises such as Metal Gear, Madden NFL and Mario in this video kiosk.

Think you know gaming? We will put you to the test!

Level V – The Hub

Iconic Minecraft characters stand on top of a giant Minecraft block in the center of the exhibition. The block features two large-screen monitors on opposite sides.

So You Think You Know Gaming? | An interactive video quiz show that tests the knowledge of exhibit travelers with video game trivia using a selection of large buttons. This game is located on the monitor located on east side of Minecraft block. 

Epic Esport Moments | Travelers can relive memorable moments in competitive gaming events in games such as Dota 2, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., Hearthstone and Overwatch. This rolling video kiosk will also feature esport legends in action.

The People Behind the Pixels | A video kiosk featuring the video gaming pioneers whose creativity and ingenuity revolutionized video gaming and changed the way we live, work and play.

Level VI – GameLab

This facilitated computer lab serves as a proving ground featuring a dynamic collection of esport and sandbox games including Portal 2, Minecraft, Roblox, Hearthstone, League of Legends and Overwatch. Games featured in the lab will be scheduled to allow families to select games they deem age appropriate. The GameLab will also feature facilitated VR demonstrations.

“Video Game Revolution will be a dynamic summer exhibit for MOSI. No doubt. However, the Game Lab portion of the exhibit is going to be a launching pad for us as we look to the future and engaging the Tampa Bay Community.

In the Game Lab we will be looking to create a MOSI eSports team that potentially could play competitions against other science centers in Florida and then region. My vision is to eventually have something like this serve as programing that could even go national. Science Centers need a new “thing” to engage today’s youth and gaming – eSports is it.

STEM and STEAM education is the cornerstone of gaming so it just makes sense for science centers to lead the way.”Rob Lamke

Originally Published in June 2021 | Photos by Howie Mac Photo

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