After a gala opening, the Game Masters exhibition is still going strong in Melbourne, Australia – but if you’re not able to make it (or if you’ve been and would like a handy memento), the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) has launched the very impressive Game Masters eBook, which is in many ways actually better than the printed, paper version.
They say a picture tells a thousand words. The printed book contains a whole bucketload of pictures, so you’re obviously getting good value for money there. The eBook, on the other hand? As well as 100+ images from a wide variety of games, it also contains a selection of video content, designed to extend the experience.
Of course, you can’t leave the eBook version lying casually on your coffee table, so it’s a little more difficult to gloat about, and slightly more awkward to show off. So I guess they both have their perks.
Both books include profiles on each of the designers featured in the exhibition (including Tim Schafer, Warren Spector, Peter Molyneux (Populous), Toru Iwatani (Pac-man), Ed Logg (Asteroids), Tomohiro Nishikado (Space Invaders) and Dave Theurer (Missile Command), Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Child of Eden), Yuji Naka (Sonic the Hedgehog), Fumito Ueda (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus) and Will Wright (SimCity, The Sims)), plus a series of essays on the arcade era and history of video games exhibitions, and even a section on indie development.
You can only pick up the printed copy at the Game Masters gift shop, but if you’ve done away with the dead tree media and just want the bits and bytes, pop over to the iBookstore and fork over some of your hard-earned money. (We’re also reassured that even if you have no plans to visit Melbourne, the eBook companion is pretty darn good as a standalone volume, so it’s worth checking out regardless.)
Meanwhile, don’t panic just yet. If you haven’t yet checked out Game Masters, there’s still plenty of time. The show runs until late October, so you can still mosey on in and check out the history-spanning games on display in the heart of Melbourne.