02/14/13 9:00am

It’s known as the Sundance of its industry, and this year it commemorates the video game’s 50th birthday. On February 15-17, the Museum of the Moving Image will host IndieCade East, the greatest show on earth for independent gamers. Considered appropriate for ages eight and up, this extravaganza features 20 playable games — from digital to physical, multiplayer to single player, active to meditative, playful to serious –drawn from IndieCade’s October 2012 festival competition. Also scheduled are presentations from designers, academics and journalists including Kris Piotrowski (Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP) and Doug Wilson (Johann Sebastien Joust), seminars and workshops for budding game makers led by industry experts, an arcade tournament and a festival-long game jam. And if that’s not enough, the museum will offer an exhibit on the video game’s first half century, Spacewar! Video Games Blast Off, on view through March 3.

IndieCade East
Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria
Friday, February 15, to Sunday, February 17
10am – 6pm | $80 for full festival pass
12/15/12 1:00pm


The scene as you ascend the stairs and enter the exhibit

Today is the first day of the new exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image called Spacewar! Video Games Blast Off. We had a chance to check out the exhibit – and play a bunch of the video games – and thought it was all pretty dang cool. Here’s what it’s all about:

Spacewar! Video Games Blast Off looks at the first 50 years of video games through the lens of Spacewar!, the first digital video game, its development, and the culture from which it sprang. In addition to a model of the original PDP-1 (Programmed Data Processor-1) computer running a playable simulation of Spacewar!, the exhibition presents 20 playable video games ranging in platform (arcade, console, handheld, PC), genre (shooters, platformers, action, arcade) and developer (commercial, independent, experimental). From Missile Command to Halo 4, and from Star Fox to Portal, the exhibition draws connections and contrasts between these games and Spacewar!, signaling the latter’s central place in the development of video games as a cultural form.