From Pong to Xbox: Exhibit explores our fixation with sports video gaming
Breanna Suk plugs in an old Nintendo gaming system and is instantly transported back in time.
“I remember getting to learn how to play hockey on NHL 95 with my brother in the basement,” recalls the collections and exhibit co-ordinator at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Red Deer.
Suk, 28, has taken those memories and loaded them into a new exhibit called “The Games We Play.”
Visitors will “come in and be greeted by the gaming consoles they grew up with,” she said.
Suk admits it’s an unusual offering for the 60-year-old institution.
“Typically our exhibits are very old sports teams, featured athletes, old sports equipment,” she said.
But the premise of the exhibit was to tap into a new facet of the fan experience.
“It’s gone from something you played to virtual reality, physically joining your favourite players,” she said.
“The grandkids love the video games,” said Lyn Radford.
The 62-year-old admits she’s not a gamer herself, but she’s toured the museum and marvelled at the way the younger generation connects with athletes through the console.
Radford is expecting the exhibit to drive a lot of visitors to the museum especially during the 2019 Canada Winter Games being hosted in the community from Feb.15 to March 3.
The grandmother is also the chair of the games committee.
“We have our own airport that people can fly into, but we also two international airports within an hour-and-a-half driving distance of Red Deer,” Radford said. “It makes it a very good event site.”
As for Suk, she’s content with getting her hands on the consoles that take her back sitting on the orange carpet, controller in hand, craning her neck up at the screen that was her first window into sport.