Enter the Funhouse

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Entering the flashing, bleeping world of the Barbican Art Gallery's Game On show is like stepping into an arcade circa 1975. The faces of teenage boys, eerily lit from below, seem hypnotized by consoles decorated with intergalactic centipedes. On the screens, a bear fights with waltzing trees and chorus lines of space jellyfish advance, firing from the hip. Videogames have reached their fourth decade, and the Game On exhibition traces their development from the simple tennis contest Pong to cinematic role-playing games like Final Fantasy. But the show is not just a timeline of game genres and chip development (plus a...

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