(edited by) Marie Foulston, Kristian Volsing – Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt


V&A Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-1851779406, English, 208 pages, 2019, UK

This is the catalogue of one of finest exhibitions about video games, hosted by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London between September 2018 and February 2019 and curated by Marie Foulston and Kristian Volsing. The curators embraced the arduous task of assembling a comprehensive exhibition with an uncommon approach, after plenty of nostalgic/historic/over-popular/attempts in the past. They tried to represent video games’ inner design, their intertwining of emotions and systems, their aesthetics and, sometimes, their art. Among the works included, a few major ones became ‘case studies’, with plenty of ‘behind-the-scenes’ material displayed and explained to understand the conceptual and practical processes leading to the final ‘product’. All the works were sourced over the last fifteen years, and represent exemplary trajectories in video game cultures. Some of them are enhancing inclusion and diversity, and the role of the player is freeing himself from the simple ‘consumption’ task. The catalogue features a selection of fifteen works from the exhibition, each of which are addressed by authors in respective essays. The analysis, hints and contexts provided, alongside some interviews, portray the modern video game world in a truly revealing way, making this static documentation a perfect memory and source after the exhibition.