Into the Videogame

Who doesn’t know them? Barely spread in the 70´s but featured by colourful gambling halls in the 80`s: a society without video games is hard to imagine. Let alone the sales of the entertainment industry which is much higher than what Hollywood is generating. At the very beginning, video games were notorious for being ´a nerd thing’. By now video games can be found on almost every smartphone.

Even our own childhood is associated with video games. While some grew up with an Atari-console, others enjoyed the features of a Nintendo with its NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) in their nursery. If it weren’t for NES, many of today’s adults at least had contact with a Game Boy, the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) or the Nintendo 64. Heroes such as Super Mario, Donkey Kong or Link from The Legend of Zelda (1986) left a mark on everyday life. During break at school we swapped Pokémon cards. Arriving home from school, the first way led to the game console. Homework frequently remained undone.


It is so marvellous to indulge in those reminiscences. Wouldn’t it be nice to go through all this again? Nowadays only a few people have such consoles at home. After all, even Nintendo 64 has 20 years on the hump. One possibility of realizing old memories is to convert those nostalgic video games into real life. It would certainly be funny to save a princess from an evil turtle as a red-dressed plumber. Perhaps this thought is not that unlikely to happen. You can find numerous portings via simple search requests on the internet. If you don’t find something appropriate, why not become creative with friends?


At last year’s Next Level Conference the team of playin’siegen was allowed to slip into the role of Donkey Kong. The creators of this porting prepared a playing field on the floor that based on the original game from 1981. A camera was filming the playing field from above. Donkey Kong used to have a two-dimensional optics. Who now looked at the monitor, which showed the camera image, could exactly perceive this. The player had become part of this two-dimensionality, while he rose the ladder, just as Donkey Kong in the original game.


Portings like these can be expanded and transferred to other areas with new game rules. Even in urban environment it’s possible to find a suitable playing surface for games like Donkey Kong. It’s quite possible that the implementation of such video games will take place at playin’siegen 2017. In advance, there are already offered some workshops for surrounding schools, which deal with the creation of such conversions. So just put the controller aside and become part of a video game by yourself.

Thomas Grab

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