On the eve of a new exhibition, we talk to six radical designers in an industry that’s evolving at exhilarating speed
Just as the kaleidoscopic dramas of Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina, the pseudo-non-fiction murk of Alan Moore’s comic From Hell and the domestic pragmatism of Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals meet under the fat banner of prose, so the body of video games becomes an ever broader church. It is impossible to enforce orthodoxy in a medium where shifting technology defines the canvas.
The artform now embraces work from a dizzying spectrum. A challenging time, then, for the Victoria and Albert Museum to stage its first major video game exhibition. Rather than reach into the primordial digital soup of the 1950s, or the gambling-adjacent squalor of the Pac-Man and Space Invaders arcade era, the V&A’s exhibition, titled Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, begins in the mid-2000s. This was the moment at which technological advances began to alter dramatically the way in which games were designed, made and played.