New gaming exhibition at National Motor Museum at Birdwood

Game Engine: Digital Legends is now open and is a semi-permanent feature of the National Motor Museum experience in Birdwood.
Game Engine: Digital Legends is now open and is a semi-permanent feature of the National Motor Museum experience in Birdwood.

A first-ever exhibition that looks at the relationship between motoring and video gaming is being held at the Motor Museum at Birdwood.

The exhibition features 11 hands on games, enabling visitors to explore the history of some of the most influential motoring-based video games of the past five decades.

According to museum director Paul Rees, in 2017 a team of archaeologists digging near the ancient Turkish city of Sogmatar uncovered a 5000 year old toy chariot – the world’s oldest known toy vehicle.

The invention of the wheel itself is only thought to be one hundred to two hundred years older. Humans have played with vehicles ever since, while the advent of video games in the 1970s opened a whole new world of possibilities.

“Game Engine: Digital Legends is a great introduction to the world of motoring video games,” Mr Rees said. 

“This (exhibition) is a world first.

While the exhibition is a lot of fun for kids and teens, the museum has found that many adults are drawn to the exhibition with some great moments of cross-generational gaming taking place.

“It puts a smile on the dial, that’s for sure,” Mr Rees said.

The earliest of these games, Night Driver (1976) is played with a giant joystick on a giant screen.

Ten other ‘digital legends’ are playable, including Forza Horizon 3 (2016), Rocket League (2015), Crazy Taxi (1999), Crash Team Racing (1999), Wipeout 2097 (1996), Road Rash (1991), Out Run (1986), Daytona USA (1993) and Sprint 4 (1977).

The exhibition uncovers the ‘game engine’ itself – the code that lies beneath all games - through a new bespoke game which exposes the workings of the code behind the game engine, and shows how altering its parameters affects the game.

Game Engine: Digital Legends is now open and is a semi-permanent feature of the National Motor Museum experience in Birdwood.