Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Games with the Museum of the Moving Image

Carl Goodman, Deputy Director and Director of Digital Media of the Museum of the Moving Image ( has a great idea for your weekend! He writes: "Spend Saturday afternoon 4/22 at the Museum for an afternoon of very special programs inaugurating the opening of Interacting with the Screen, a new display within Museum’s core exhibition devoted to early video games. At 2pm they're hosting Ralph H. Baer, Father of the Video Game. Spry and articulate at 83 years of age, the person who brought the world electronic ping-pong and other key digital video inventions is still plugging away in his basement laboratory, adding to his 50+ US patents. Bear is an √©migr√© who fled Germany as a teenager in 1938 and received one of the first television engineering degrees in 1949. Two months ago, President George Bush laid on him a prestigious National Medal of Technology. For what happened in between, come to the event. More on Baer: (from David Winter);

Then, at 4pm, it’s Game Design: Forward into the Past with legendary game designer Eugene Jarvis (Defender, Robotron, etc) now at Raw Thrills; designer and industry conscience/gadfly Greg Costikyan, Pres. of Manifesto Games; and designer/author Eric Zimmerman, CEO of Gamelab. The group will look at the connection between the video games of yore and today’s of arcade-style, independently produced, or otherwise unpackaged games. My colleague Keith Feinstein of Videotopia will moderate.

And at 5:45 we’ll host a reception in honor of Ralph Baer in the galleries. This event is open to the above attendees.

Amidst the above hubbub, you can also check out the new display, including Baer’s hand-crafted working replicas if his 1967/68 prototype systems and a new game modding demonstration featuring the work of ‘machinimaster’ Freidrich Kirschner.

All events are free with Museum admission ($10, $7.50 for students), and I can extend to you the privilege of reserving seats for the event. Just email me. For more info on all of this, jump over to the Digital Media Events section of the Museum Website at

ALSO: If the current eruption of video-based creativity on the Internet of interest to (and it should!), you will enjoy our Sunday, 4/23 4pm event, Video Blog Explosion, with the makers of,, and