Videogame mythologies
du 11 mars
au 9 décembre 2012
Maison d’Ailleurs

Espaces imaginaires / Imaginary Spaces

Jeux d’échecs / Chess Sets

Jeux historiques / Historical Games

Archeology of Fun

At first glance, video games seem to involve a radical break with traditional board games. The digital interface and the everpresent monitor do indeed seem to be irreconcilable with either playing alone or the meeting of individuals interacting with each other around a table. And yet…

… and yet, traditional games are also played by rules, they too create specific topographies; allow us to feel physical emotions more or less intensely depending on how engrossed in the game we become, and they too can interfere with our everyday lives (hard to tear yourself away from a game etc.). In that sense, when you think about it, video games are carrying on the great history of games, meaning that they are a part of it while distancing themselves – just like snakes and ladders or role games, which also both belong to a game tradition and stand out from it owing to their difference.

This section serves two purposes. By exhibiting in the Espace Jules Verne representations of imaginary spaces and historical games divided up in meta-categories, we are seeking to show how the practice of video games is already potentially contained in the earlier practice of games. Then in the Pulps gallery, we want to make you aware of the esthetic variations of one particular game – chess. The book jackets and chess sets (“physical”, “electronic” and “video”) are perfect illustrations of how it is impossible to separate video games and conventional games.