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Feedback for Video Games at the Museum of Modern Art

March 23, 2013

I just sent this to MoMA.org in response to their video game exhibit in the Applied Design area of the third floor:

 

Since Pac-Man was introduced when I was six and video games were a pervasive part of my childhood, I am very much enjoying the video game exhibit you currently have on display on the third floor, although it feels weird to go to a free Friday at MoMA and spend the whole time playing video games. I discovered this particular exhibit only three weeks ago.

I do want to report some things that need to be improved in the exhibit, however.

1. The controller for Katamari Damacy has not worked the past three Fridays. As such, we can neither play the game, nor see what the game is like, as we can with the demos of Myst and Sim City 2000. Although I’ve never owned a system newer that the Super NES, I have played Katamari Damacy in in-store demos and know what people are missing. Perhaps it was disabled on free Fridays because of popularity?

2. Vib-ribbon needs a better instruction panel. The text of the game, other than the title, is entirely in Japanese, which has a reputation for being even harder than English, and being a long-time fan of Japanese cinema, I have dabbled in learning, but as you might guess, as a free Friday regular, I can’t afford professional instruction. Because it is such a difficult language, it is going to give people a lot of trouble. The game has an option to reconfigure the controls. I know this because the buttons have yet to correlate with what it says on the instruction panel. Last night, the loop button was reconfigured to the start button, which made gameplay difficult for the wrong reasons even once I figured out which button it was, because the start button is not in an ergonomic place for continuous use. Because it’s so easy for people to stumble through and change the controls from what is printed, instructions/translations should be on the panel. I really enjoyed this game once I figured it out, but I’ve observed most people putting the control down in total frustration.

Thank you for your consideration,

Scott Andrew Hutchins

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