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Robots and Videogames: V&A Dundee Announces 2019 Exhibitions

Dominique Adams


Abertay University Games

The prestigious V&A Dundee Museum’s 2019 international exhibition programme will focus on the design and culture of contemporary videogames and the impact of robotics. 

Dundee’s recently opened £80 million V&A museum has revealed its programme for next year, which will have a special focus on videogames and robotics.

Its planned exhibition show Videogames: Design/Play/Distrupt, which will run from 20th April to 8th September 2019 is, according to the museum, “the first exhibition to fully consider the complexity of videogames as one of the most important design fields of our time.”

The show will specifically explore videogames designed and developed since the mid-2000s when technological advances radically transformed the way games were designed, discussed and played.

From multi-million-dollar blockbuster titles to smaller independent games and the work of DIY artists from a hacker/maker culture, the exhibition examines current international debates as well as the creative contributions made to game culture by the players themselves.

V&A Calling for Proposals for Digital Game Commission

In tandem with the exhibition, the museum will put on a varied programme of events, talks, commissions and learning workshops inspired by videogame design that reflects the local expertise of Scottish designers, companies and academics in the field.

As part of the programme, the museum is calling on designers “with a link to Scotland” to submit a proposal for a digital video game commission that explores character development and the idea of self in videogames.

A panel of judges, including experts from the Dundee videogame industry, will select the appointed designer, who will develop their game for the V&A website. The commission will be supported by InGAME, an Abertay University led games innovation partnership.

Exploring the Science and Fiction of Robotics

Following Videogames: Design/Play/Distrupt, the next programme will examine the current boom in robotics with the exhibition Hello, Robot Design between Human and Machine, which will run from the 2nd of November 2019 to the 23rd of February 2020.

The V&A describes it as a “ground-breaking” exhibition that investigates the way in which robotics in both science and fiction are changing the world we live in.

It will look at how popular culture has shaped the human perception of robots and how this technology has impacted industry. “Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine gives a comprehensive look at the current state of robotics and provides a fascinating vision of the future.”

Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, said: “Through an eclectic programme, V&A Dundee aims to inspire people and provoke discussion about the role of design in everyone’s lives.

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt and Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine are both hugely important exhibitions looking at how designers and technology are shaping human experience, both for the better and in ways we find challenging.

“Dundee is a city at the forefront of video game design and innovation and we are very much looking forward to working with partners and creative collaborators to deliver a unique programme to accompany our next show.”

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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