What is a video game?

At the OXO Video Game Museum in Málaga, we outline an accurate, inclusive, and contemporary definition of this crucial 21st-century medium. Come join us!

OXO Videogame MuseumOXO | Museo del Videojuego

OXO Videogame Museum - FacadeOXO | Museo del Videojuego

Why do we call ourselves the OXO Video Game Museum?

OXO was the first video game created on a computer, back in 1952 by Alexander Douglas for his PhD at the University of Cambridge, based on the interaction between human and machine. It's basically an interactive 3-in-a-row, using a phone dial as an interface.

EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator)OXO | Museo del Videojuego

To develop it, he used this huge computer, the EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator). It had 3 CRT screens with the information displayed in only 35x16 pixels. But is OXO a video game?

OXO Videogame MuseumOXO | Museo del Videojuego

Is OXO a video game?

For many it is, for others it isn't. There are interactivity and graphics, but these have no movement and interact with the player... At this point, we asked ourselves one question: What is a video game?

"Video game" definition in SpanishOXO | Museo del Videojuego

What is a video game?

The answer isn't simple, as one official dictionary definition says that a video game is an "electronic game that is viewed on a screen." This definition would exclude some examples from our own museum.

Line Wobbler by Robin BaumgartenOXO | Museo del Videojuego

So, is this not a video game?

Line Wobbler by German artist Robin Baumgarten is a "one-dimensional dungeon crawler" that uses its own controller interacting with a strip of LEDs and with a surprising variety of levels in a minimalist narrative design.

Pong Knock OutOXO | Museo del Videojuego

Is this not a video game either?

Pong Knock Out (Dave & Busters and UNIS) is the recreation of the Atari classic (Pong) but in a physical, electromechanical format. It allows for a showdown between 4 players and, again, without a screen.

AR SandboxOXO | Museo del Videojuego

And this other one?

AR Sandbox (collaborative project) converts a sandbox into an interactive topographic map using Kinect (XBOX), scratch and Unity 3 technology, interacting with the sand arranged by the player in the form of augmented reality.

Video game playerOXO | Museo del Videojuego

These are three examples from our third floor dedicated to experimental video games, but there's also a reality to reflect on: blind players who enjoy video games without the need for a screen. Do they not play video games?

OXO Videogame MuseumOXO | Museo del Videojuego

The (re)definition of the video game concept

We've named some of the arguments that encouraged us to launch a campaign aimed at the entire video gaming community: a (re)definition of the concept of video game in an open, participatory, and plural way. We're looking for a definition for what we're passionate about.

RAE campaign, "video game" definitionOXO | Museo del Videojuego

Take note of this website

To do this, we've held talks that you can find on definiendoelvideojuego.oxomuseo.com, and we've received the backing of major players in the Spanish video game industry, such as DEV, AEVI, Arsgames, DIGRA, IndieDev Day, and the Fundación ONCE.

Victor Navarro RemesalOXO | Museo del Videojuego

Víctor Navarro Remesal | DIGRA Spain

"At DIGRA Spain, we understand that our purpose is complex and that our definitions change which aspects of that complexity are addressed or ignored. That's why we want to engage in these conversations and see how we use video games."

Erique GarcíaOXO | Museo del Videojuego

Enrique García | Project Manager #Ga11 and FONCE

"Everything is changing and so is the video game. We work on our projects because video games are for everyone, and we believe that the current definition doesn't represent this and doesn't represent us. Therefore, we will form part of this campaign."

Eurídice CabañesOXO | Museo del Videojuego

Eurídice Cabañes | Arsgames

"Definitions not only describe reality, they also generate it. It's important that we generate it together."

OXO Videogame MuseumOXO | Museo del Videojuego

Game on. Want to join?

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