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Te Papa celebrates 40 years of video gaming

Published: 6:58PM Sunday December 16, 2012 Source: ONE News

Te Papa has opened its doors on its latest international exhibition, celebrating video games.

The interactive summer exhibit features 120 video games spanning 40 years of gaming - from Pac-Man, Tetris and Sim City, to Sing Star, Angry Birds and Just Dance.

The Game Masters exhibition  also displays game artwork, including hand-drawn sketches and 3D models.

"It's great seeing some of the older games and the history of games, which you can't find anywhere," said gamer Alex Crowther.

The exhibition profiles the world's most influential game designers, including those which brought iconic characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and the Super Mario Brothers to life.

The Australian gamers who helped design the show said there is something for everyone.

"I think it's pretty pervasive, in design, in graphics, all over the place, in music too," said Ben Cram, touring exhibitions project manager at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) .

"There's dancing games here that have been influenced by popular music. Then film and television."

It comes as gaming is ditching its reputation as a hobby for the boys.

Research shows more and more women are picking up the gaming consoles, with 48% of video game players now women, said ONE News reporter Renee Graham .

ACMI exhibitions manager Chris Harris, said: "Games have come out of the boys' bedrooms and into the lounge room, and now out into the public realm on trains and things with hand helds, and what that has brought is women into it as well."

Gaming is a $74 billion global business, now earning more money each year than the Hollywood film industry.

In New Zealand, the industry is growing with the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association  reporting a $179 million turnover last year.