London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM) is opening an exhibition called ‘War Games’ that explores the relationship between video games and conflict and includes a retro gaming zone.
‘War Games: Real Conflicts/Virtual Worlds/Extreme Entertainment’ is a free exhibition opening on 30 September 2022 and running through 28 May 2023.
It will reveal what video games can tell us about war and conflict through a series of titles, including Sniper Elite 5, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Six Days in Fallujah.
Six Days in Fallujah is a first-person tactical shooter based on the true stories of marines, soldiers and civilians affected by the Second Battle of Fallujah during the Iraq War.
Highlights of the exhibition include an Xbox 360 controller that was used to operate the camera of an unmanned aerial vehicle in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sniper Elite and Call of Duty at IWM
Visitors will get to play 13 iconic games in the retro gaming zone from series such as Medal of Honour, Battlezone and Top Gun. Consoles available include the Atari 2600 and Sega Saturn.
The exhibition was developed by the museum in collaboration with an advisory panel of gaming experts, enthusiasts and historians.
“The drama and tragedy of war has fascinated us for millennia,” said Chris Cooper and Ian Kikuchi, co-curators of ‘War Games’.
“Paintings, books, plays, films and tv shows have all told gripping stories about conflict. Video games have continued this tradition in the 20th and 21st centuries, becoming today’s largest and fastest growing entertainment industry.”
“We hope this exhibition prompts visitors to consider the influence this media might have on our perceptions and understanding of war and conflict,” they added.
Relationship between video games and conflict
Video games (and a military training simulator) featured in the exhibition are as follows:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- Arma 3
- Sniper Elite 5
- Wolfenstein 3D
- Six Days in Fallujah
- Through the Darkest of Times
- Bury Me, My Love
- This War of Mine
- 11-11: Memories Retold
- Virtual Battlespace 4
‘War Games’ is supported by lead sponsor Rebellion, a British video game developer best known for its Sniper Elite series.
Gaming IP is being transformed into various LBE experiences, from Ubisoft escape rooms and a Tomb Raider attraction to Super Nintendo World.