It was a little while ago now – the beginning of autumn if I recall well – that we went to Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered, the wonderful exhibition that is on loan at the Sea City Museum (Southampton) from the Victoria & Albert Museum (London). All I can say about this exhibition is only positive. It was a wonderful experience to go and learn about the history of board games and how the hobby has changed throughout history. I thought that the exhibition followed an excellent dynamic with information, items on display and plenty of interactive bits – such as the life-size Snakes and Ladders game. It was really fun and well thought off.This was the main exhibition area. You can see there at the back the dice for the life size Snakes and Ladders, but there were other things you could do. The interactive bits occupied the middle of the room where the space was necessary whilst the information panels where on the sides and walls giving you the context relevant for each game or development era. It was really cool seeing a chess board with pieces from all the way back to ancient and medieval history, up to current times.
I think it was also interesting to see how games have evolved from being entertaining methods of learning, to then become passionate hobbies and competitive pass times to enjoy with family and friends.
This board was also very cool. This was a diagram where you chose your own path depending on how you experienced gaming and at the end you were given the verdict on what time of board gamer you are! Apparently I am the Gloating Winner, and to ensure there was no doubt, in the board right next to it I left testimony of my invictus status at Jungle Speed! :8 (They have some post it notes so you can share gaming experiences relating to your gaming type or otherwise…Couldn’t let the chance slide…right?)
Original map design for Pandemic. Somehow the bright colours and cubes on it whilst you play make it look far more intimidating than when it is hanging just on the wall like that…
The many, many versions of Risk. I remember the old school one my parents taught me to play with that was all cheap plastic cubes, all white dice and a very sort of plain map. But you know, back then it was cool, and no one could think of a Doctor Who risk or something like that, cause…well, that was not the point, or not at that stage. Licensing has become an increasing influence in board games, whether this is for good or for bad, the exhibition does not comment upon the subject, but the question was certainly up in the air.
I like this bit of the exhibition too. Although there was a logical way of navigating around it, you could – if you wanted to make it more fun – just go to different places as if you were in a game. Spin the wheel, find out which area you need to go first and get on with your quest 🙂 Nice dynamic for adults and children alike.
As you can see however, loads of display cabinets around, but the light bouncing off them didn’t allow for very good photos, hence why I do not have as many as from other places. But I think you get the idea.
In any case, this is still up in the gallery up until the 25th of February: https://seacitymuseum.co.uk/game-plan-board-games-rediscovered
And will be up elsewhere until April this year, so have a look for it and go visit it, because it is genuinely worth every penny. If you want to find out more, here is their official website: http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/exhibitions/gameplan/