Junior (5 – 15)
|Junior (4 & under)||Free|
Education and Group Discounts available.
An immersive exhibition that redefines digital creativity, where the world of videogames spills out beyond the screen.
Step into the realm of the videogame in a series of playful and immersive installations that will take you on a journey through new sonic landscapes and exciting kaleidoscopic worlds.
Virtual Realms pairs six of the world's most acclaimed videogame developers with six leading media design studios to create a series of large-scale, experimental spaces.
This exhibition presents 21st century game design as a unique form of contemporary art, opening a new way to experience this rapidly evolving platform.
Take a journey through the six realms, each with a distinct theme; curated by the Barbican, London with the celebrated game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi as guest-curator.
'By creating these exciting new collaborations, Virtual Realms offers game developers a unique opportunity to break free from the constraints of consoles and formal game playing and really push the boundaries of how video games can be experienced together. This exhibition paves the way for a future where the world of the videogame spills out beyond the screen.'
From playful adventures in unchartered worlds, to meditative reflections on life itself, join us in this physical and communal environment.
Enhance and Rhizomatiks
Within this realm, your senses will be transported to new dimensions; where sounds can be seen, and visuals felt.
On entering, you become a part of the pulsing rhythmic beat, and a ‘traveller’ on a journey. For those travellers performing with the haptic spheres, you carry in your hands the seeds of life.
When holding the spheres, move and interact together to sculpt the light and shape the sounds to the rhythm; your performance will create a synesthetic metamorphosis for everyone in the space to experience.
David OReilly and onedotzero
This realm celebrates the capacity of videogames to generate expansive universes and give shape to the infinite potential of our imagination.
Rotate the three oversized controllers to play with the ‘flow’, ‘scale’ and ‘warp’ of the shifting kaleidoscopic formations on the screen.
Experience a visual journey through time, from the Big Bang to the end of the Universe. With soft spongey seating to lounge on and a synchronised soundtrack from the London Symphony Orchestra, sit back and bathe in this psychedelic wonder.
Media Molecule and Marshmallow Laser Feast
A helmet connects you to the virtual world of Dreams, while the oversized soft shapes in the play space are your props.
Moving through the three acts of play, you will be transported from a multicoloured ball pit to the creation of the Universe, and back.
Sharing shapes and experimenting with movements around the space will create a spectacle within both the physical and virtual worlds.
KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS and The Mill
The wall divides two opposing worlds: one alive with biological cells; and the other flowing with galactic energy particles. Explore these two spaces and find ways to communicate between them.
As you approach the wall, the cells and cosmic particles will respond to your presence, dividing and clustering as you grow nearer, and creating mesmerising patterns with your every movement.
Amongst your interactions and imprints, traces of other silhouettes will emerge, and snapshots of past interactions replayed. These signs of life within or beyond the wall hint to the structure as a channel of communication between different spaces and time.
Tequila Works and The Workers
This realm showcases the power of videogames to tell stories and create new forms of fiction.
Discover the notion of an infinite story with neither 'any beginning or end'. Follow the lead of the spotlights, stepping into the circles of light to trigger changes on screen such as the crumbling of statues or the shifting of night into day.
Depending on your choices and how you collaborate, each rendition of the narrative will be different.
thatgamecompany and FIELD,IO
Explore the relationship between movement, light, and sound and use your presence to influence the composition of the space.
As you move beneath the circular light sculpture, music and audio fragments are triggered, and a choreography of light sequences unfold.
By working together and collaborating, the fragments of light and melody will build, culminating in a collective crescendo and a moment of unity for all to experience.
ABOUT TETSUYA MIZUGUCHI
Tetsuya Mizuguchi is an award-winning Japanese videogame designer, producer and media artist. He has led the creation of boundary pushing games and media projects investigating multi-sensory experiences. At the core of his work lies the experience of synesthesia, the crossing of the senses.
Recent examples of his work include the award-winning virtual reality (VR) games Rez Infinite (2016), Tetris Effect (2018), and synesthetic experiential devices including the Synesthesia Suit (2016) and Synesthesia X1 (2019).
Virtual Realms is curated and organised by the Barbican, London with the celebrated game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi as guest-curator.
The exhibition is a co-production with ArtScience Museum, Singapore and Melbourne Museum and is made possible with the support of HP Inc., Vicon, Epic MegaGrants and London Symphony Orchestra.