Once upon a time, stories were things that got spoken. They went in one direction, from mouth to ear. Simple as that.
Then came writing. Then print and radio. And eventually came screens — big at the movies, small in your living room, and now all over the place. Finally came screens connected to joysticks and keyboards and touch sensors.
Video games are the mega-medium of our age, and they’re changing the way human beings experience stories. They respond to the commands of the audience, which isn’t passive anymore.
Narrative games featuring deeply drawn characters and fully imagined worlds are “immersive, interactive, rewarding experiences” for millions upon millions of players, said John Barber, a professor of Creative Media and Digital Culture at Washington State University Vancouver.
Barber is one driver of the Nouspace Gallery and Media Lounge, an experimental artistic project that’s jumped here and there in downtown Vancouver but never settled into an affordable, permanent home, he said.
If You Go
• What: “Game Changers: Reinventing Storytelling through Video Games,” a temporary (“pop-up”) museum.
• When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, now through March 26.
• Kickoff party: 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday.
• Where: Red Lion Inn at the Quay, 100 Columbia St., Vancouver.
• Online: http://dtc-wsuv.org/gamechangers
He’s excited that the students and faculty of the WSUV Creative Media program have taken that Nouspace spirit and created a “pop-up” video game museum in vacant downtown space this month — the former Red Lion Inn at the Quay at 100 Columbia St.
Beginning today, an indie video game exhibit called “Game Changers: Reinventing Storytelling through Video Games” will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through March 26. The exhibit and related events are free and open to everyone.
More than 30 games created by independent developers will be on display, and you’ll be able to ponder the ways that these games challenge storytelling and reinvent the ways that narrative works. Genres, aesthetics, perspectives and platforms are all explored in the exhibit.
Don’t miss the kickoff party from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday. It will include performance of a game set on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise called “Artemis Spaceship Simulator”; “Church of Robotron,” an interactive game full of lights and lasers; and music by The Doubleclicks, a nerdy Portland acoustic duo who proudly fly the geek-rock banner and have created music for video games and commercials.
And throughout the month there will be gaming and gaming show-and-tell, movie screenings and a Unity Roadshow — a workshop and instruction for people using the world-dominant Unity game development software.
For more information, visit http://dtc-wsuv.org/gamechangers.