Game Masters opens

12 December 2012

Te Papa’s summer blockbuster exhibition, Game Masters, opens this weekend (Saturday 15 December) with an action-packed programme of dance contests, caricatures, and free face-painting. Visitors to Te Papa can meet artists and programmers, and some favourite video-game characters.

Game Masters features over 120 playable games across arcade, consoles, and PCs, including Donkey Kong, The Sims, The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, and not forgetting mobile games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja;this exhibition has games suitable for all ages.

The exhibition profiles a selection of the world’s most influential videogame designers, and the iconic games developments of the past 40 years. Videogame designers are often little known outside of their field, and the exhibition will provide a platform for acknowledging the huge individual creative contributions they have made to the industry.

International videogame designers whose work will be profiled include Tetsuya Mizuguchi with Child of Eden, Chris Metzen with World of Warcraft, and Toru IIwatani, the father of Pac-man.

To represent game development in New Zealand, and to celebrate New Zealand’s contribution to the game development industry, two New Zealand designed games are featured:

Shatter was developed in 2009 by Wellington-based studio Sidhe – New Zealand’s largest games producer. A brick-breaking game with a retro feel,Shatter has broken boundaries with its vibrant art and captivating game play.

Chopper 2 was designed, programmed, and produced by David Frampton of one-man operation Majic Jungle. Released in 2010, this technically and artistically innovative 3D game features lush, beautifully rendered landscapes and an original soundtrack.

Game players can test their reflexes with an action-packed mobile game for one or two players. Game Masters: The Game, designed to reflect the content of theGame Masters exhibition, takes you on a thrill ride through gaming history as you relive some classic videogame moments, from the arcade, through to console games, to today's mobile App favourites.

Visitors to the Game Masters exhibition can collect the game codes to unlock the special bonus level. This bonus level is a death match of 10 points, in which all the elements from the standard game are mixed up in an exciting galaxy arena. Game Masters: The Game is free for download on smartphone or tablet from the App Store and Google Play.

While at Te Papa, check out the Game Masters Store, packed with product featuring gaming characters and special merchandise exclusive to Te Papa, including a great range of t’shirts showing iconic Wellington images transported into the world of gaming. It is an ideal way to take a piece of this amazing exhibition experience home.

A catalogue of the exhibition can be purchased in both traditional printed format and also as an iOS eBook. Edited by curator Emma McRae, the book is a superb souvenir of the exhibition and would make an ideal gift. 'Game Masters – The Exhibition' showcases the evolution of gaming across 40 years, from the legendary Space Invaders and Pac-Man, through to modern favourites like Rock Band and Real Racing. The eBook contains additional video footage and both editions celebrate the amazing designers and developers who brought these games to life and reveal the painstaking design processes behind their creations.”

The catalogue and other Game Masters merchandise is available from the Game Masters Exhibition Store and online at

Te Papa acknowledges sponsorship and support from Visa, HP, Mighty Ape, and Wellington City Council, in our presentation of Game Masters.

Te Papa is New Zealand’s exclusive venue for the exhibition which has been developed by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne.

Game Masters
15 December 2012 – 28 April 2013
Visa Platinum Gallery, Level 4
Exhibition charges apply.

Media contact

Tina Norris, Corporate Communications Manager
(04) 381 7233 or 021 2257538

Game Masters: The Exhibition, Emma McRae (editor), Te Papa Press, December 2012. Paperback ISBN: 978-1-877385-99-5, RRP NZ$29.99 and eBook ISBN: 978-0-9876688-2-0, RRPNZ$14.99