The new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London wants to challenge “perceptions of how video games interpret stories about war and conflict”.
Titled War Games: Real Conflicts | virtual worlds | Extreme Entertainment, the exhibition will be open from now until May 2023 and seeks to “dive deeper into one of today’s most popular narrative mediums and ask how the reality of war is represented in the virtual world of a video game.”
“With 12 diverse case studies, War Games invites visitors to interrogate the tension between the thrill and tragedy of war in a game and its real-world repercussions,” says a press release.
“Common gaming tropes like exploding barrels and sniper rifles appear alongside collectibles like facial prosthetics developed in World War I. The exhibit also explores how video game technology can and is used to help shape to real wars, featuring new acquisitions, including an Xbox 360 controller once used to operate an unmanned aerial vehicle camera in Afghanistan and Iraq.
There will be “immersive installations, never-before-shown memorabilia, and insights from industry insiders,” as well as the chance to see games like Sniper Elite 5, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, This War of Mine, and Bury Me, My Love. and explore how different developers have portrayed the conflict.
On Saturday, November 26, 2022, IWM will also be present live war games, a “half-day festival exploring the war video game phenomenon” led by Brenda and John Romero and Jordan Erica Webber. You can also expect live performances, talks, and access to the exhibit after hours.
Sponsored by Rebellion, the festival also includes a retro arcade and Games Jam in association with the Historic Games Network and the University of Glasgow Gaming and Gaming Laboratory.