Australia’s National Motor Museum launching video game exhibition

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The National Motor Museum in South Australia will pay homage to our favourite motor racing games as part of a new exhibition that will explore the relationship between video games and motor culture.

The exhibition, ‘REVolution: where pixels meet motors – an interactive history of video gaming and motor cultur’, is thanks to a $125,000 grant.

The exhibition will explore how classics such as Nintendo’s Mario Kart, Sega’s Daytona and Sony’s iconic Gran Turismo series have influenced how people interact with automotive culture, along with how gaming has informed the development of cars themselves. Even the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series will be on display.

Mario in Mercedes
Above: The Mario Kart franchise has been hugely popular since the original SNES version in 1992

Speaking to SA paper The Lead, Paul Rees, director of the National Motor Museum, said: “I thought ‘this is part of motoring history, how people interact with motoring culture through video games, there’s an exhibition in this”.

“We are looking at the early days of racing in modern culture and the influence on video games from motorbikes to motor cars. At the same time we’ve looked at the dashboards of modern day cars and we want to also explore how video gaming has informed the modern car and the modern driving experience.”

Despite the controversial content of the popular the Grand Theft Auto series, Rees said that it has still played a significant role in shaping today’s automotive culture.

“We can’t ignore GTA [either] – it’s much maligned but much loved as well and, as a museum, we have a duty to look at everything,” he said.

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The museum already has racing games set-up on consoles as part of its school holiday programs, but Rees said that the upcoming exhibition – due to open in 2017 – will be on a much grander scale which targets a wider audience.

“It’s really going to be for everyone who remembers the earliest games but I really think this is going to come into its own as an education program working with students,” he said.

“But also, there’s going to be a bunch of people who go ‘wow I remember this’ just like how they do now when they come in and say ‘that was my first car’ now it will be ‘that was my first game’.”

Along with the collection of video games, the museum is also working with Adelaide-based technology firm Novus Res to create a program that will allow visitors and school groups to create their own basic racing game through simple coding techniques.

Operated by History SA, the National Motor Museum has an extensive collection of cars and automobile collectibles in Birdwood, South Australia. Open daily, the museum attracts around 60,000 visitors a year.

The new video game exhibit is scheduled to open in December 2017.

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