What’s the video game about? It’s now a question with the million dollar dollar number which society needs to find a solution. The recent pandemic actually left the population to lose its lives, relegating them to their homes for long periods and forcing them to find new ways of socializing or simply to entertain themselves. In this context, our favorite hobby had a chance to shine, as individuals of all ages and categories at least in the most developed countries started to enter virtual worlds, driven by sincere curiosity. The Royal Palace has decided to give the whole programme of activities the theme of football to the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the UNESCO Declaration, which crowned it World Heritage Site.
The exhibition, PLAY Videogames, beyondscheduled till next January 15, curated by Guido CurtoDirector of the Consortium of the Royal Savoy Residences and by Fabio Viola, game designer, teacher, essayist and founder of the international artistic collective TuoMuseo, investigates videogames as the 10th art form and aims to ask visitors right questions about our origin and predominately about the cultural purposes of our medium of reference. We had the honor, the pleasure of seeing the exhibition in the preview, and finally, we’re ready to tell you about it.
La Venaria Reale and the PLAY exhibit: from the ideal place to the symbol name: the Venice Exhibition.
The Reggia di Venaria, commissioned by the Duke of Venice II and designed by the architect Amedeo di Castellamonte, is a monumental complex of 80 square meters restored in 2007, after two centuries of decay and a long restoration process lasting over eight years.
Since then, the splendid Savoy residence which is situated on the outskirts of Turin is hosting a lot of events, assuming if you want to have a permanent cultural project. What better place to hold a concert dedicated to the greatest form of contemporary entertainment? The event fits perfectly into this context. If, like Fabio Viola himself, the idea was to ask rather than give answers. What are the virtues of video games? They are just playful or are they also acting as a new language? Are they digital locations that may replace physically and geographical sites? If there are worlds where we can explore, is it possible to socialize or even form in a way or another? Can they have a political view? They constitute, above all, contemporary cultural and artistic expression. And if so, how do they relate to those that can be defined as traditional?
PLAY, the word that gives its name to the exhibition, or to all the programming of the Reggia for 2022, isn’t a random choice. By definition, in English, the term uses different declensions based on the context, and sometimes often takes on the meaning of playing, acting, playing. This all symbolise the fluid nature of our video game. This cannot be used in a single and dogmatic definition. Next, he could not lose the influence of Johan Huizingathe Dutch historian and linguist to whom Guido Curto dedicated the entire event: the Dutch scholar ought to be credited with in fact having produced one of the most successful works on the theme of play with the essay Homo Ludens (Does Death Stranding tell you anything?
The masters of science and video games are used to develop a mastery of art and video games.
The path to discovery offered by PLAY has 12 rooms where the works of the past masters like De ChiricoKandisky, WarholHokusai, Calder, Dore, Savino, Piranesi, and some Hellenistic vases in the years 3 to 5 are shown in video games like IcoMonument Valley, Rez Infinite, Okami Diablo IV and Apotheon.
Contemporary artists are also able to find plenty of space: Bill Viola, Invader, Cao FeiIago, Tabor Robak, the AES + F collective e Federico Clapis, they showcase works that take part heavily in the videogame world and reflect their shapes, colors and dimensions. Once the areas dedicated to aesthetic and symbolism were overcome, the exhibition continues by presenting the link between videogames and contemporary mythology, and speaks of it as the natural continuation of a documentary chain that began at the Epic of Gilgamesh and passed through the classics of Iliad and the Odyssey, for the Divine Comedy, to the great contemporary sagas such as Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Matrix. As well as the famous stories of the past, gameplay played a huge impact on peoples lives, and productions like Death Stranding and To The Moon and Life is Strange became mainstream. In the future, the people of the world could experience contemporary thought by playing innovative and inventive methods of interaction and writing.
The Sala dei Maestri promotes the work of pioneers who were in the era of video games that raised them to the rank of genuine artists. There are some works of the master of the Final Fantasy trilogy, Yoshitaka, or Yu Suzuki, a famous creator of many SEGA books, such as Shenmue and Virtua Fighter.
Again, the works of Christian Cantamessaauthor of the narratives of Red Dead Redemption and the works of the Piedmontese Andrea Pessino, mythic founder of Ready at Dawn. There’s finally, Yayi and the melodies that accompanied the Assassin’s Creed adventure. The 4 environments reproduced from the Japanese arcade of the 80s to the futuristic representations of the Metaverse (all to try by virtual reality) are the main areas of the game’s evolution. If you are in these rooms, you can play Pac-Man, Space Invader, Street Fighter and Tekken.
A separate mention deserves the Venaria Light Show: The Great Game, a real video game specially developed for the Royal Palace where the entire facade of the Galleria Grande is controlled and operated using a 4 meters keyboard, which may be controlled as a screen, while this special attraction is limited to summer evenings at the Royal Palace as an option, which is characterized by four meter slots.
PLAY Videogame, art and beyond is a visual representation of the past, present and future of the game industry, and connects them with the other side with the best of famous artists. A successful representation thanks to the efforts of Piedmontese cultural institutions, the political and all kinds of video game enthusiasts. We remind you that the exhibition was open for the public on July 22 and will be open until January 15, 2023. You can visit the official site for information.