‘More like an Arcade’ – The Limitations of Playable Games in Museum Exhibitions

Patrick Prax, Lina Eklund, Björn Sjöblom


This study investigated the relationship between playable, interactive games on original hardware and the representation of game culture using the case of the exhibition Game On 2.0, often considered to be the largest exhibition of digital games in the West so far. Our results suggest that play as a way of engaging with games as museum objects has limitations which make it necessary to add other means of contextualization in order to afford critical engagement with digital games as contemporary culture. Play excludes visitors who lack necessary gaming skills as well as many genres of games which need longer or different kinds of interaction than a museum can allow for in the context of an exhibition. Moreover, we show that not all games can be exhibited in the same way and that we need to adapt exhibition strategies to individual game and their properties and contexts.


Exhibition, Digital Games, Interactive Museum, Interactivity,

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.29311/mas.v17i3.2777

Copyright (c) 2019 Patrick Prax, Lina Eklund, Björn Sjöblom

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

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