As Scotland’s spiritual home of videogames it was only right that a massive exhibition celebrating how they have grown came to Dundee.
In the past, attempts by museums to celebrate gaming have tended to end up with showcases of early games such as Pong and Asteroids.
But with Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, the V&A has started from the early 2000s and worked forward to bring the public’s awareness of gaming bang up to date.
The curators have tried to make the show as accessible as possible for gamers and non-gamers alike – and I’d say they have succeeded.
The smash hit games that greet you at the start like The Last Of Us and No Man’s Sky are only half the story – the rare design documents, sketchbooks and notes that line the walls are testament to the sheer effort involved in their creation.
Even if you’ve never played a game the showcase is eye-opening.
Having learned a little about how games are made, you’re dropped into an area examining how gaming tackles subjects such as sexism, race and the industry’s uneasy relationship with violence.
One such example, A Series of Gunshots, depicts a still suburban scene waiting to be punctuated by a single, distressing “bang”: all it needs is for you to pull the trigger.
The V&A’s gaming curator, Marie Foulston, said: “We’re at a huge cultural tipping point. These shifts in technology have empowered a new generation. People are making games as a hobby, like taking up knitting or photography. It wasn’t a question of if we would ever curate an exhibition on games, but when.”
The exhibition also revels in online communities who play together and celebrate their favourite games with costumes and community meet-ups.
At the end, custom arcade cabinets from We Throw Switches – including two exclusively made for Dundee with Abertay students and lecturers – let you play some quirky games with friends to experience that sense of community yourself.
As a result you leave with a smile on your face – which I suspect is half the point.