FAIRFIELD, IA -- The Iowa Contemporary Art Gallery here is planning an exhibition of the game-related artwork created by Twin Galaxies, including its one-of-a-kind series of trading cards honoring individuals who have made historic contributions to the worldwide coin-op amusement industry.
Titled "The Video Game Trading Cards and Posters of Twin Galaxies," the ICon Gallery exhibition is scheduled for Aug. 4-11. The weeklong exhibit will feature more than 600 posters and trading cards, and will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 10, all the "trading card celebrities" in attendance will be honored at a red-carpet awards ceremony. This will be followed by an evening videogame film festival at the renovated Orpheum Theatre. Among the films to be screened is "The Video Craze," a documentary produced and directed by Dave Danzara (Costa Mesa, CA).
Walter Day, who purchased the Twin Galaxies arcade in Ottumwa, IA, in 1981, teamed up with celebrated video gamer Billy Mitchell to commission a poster set; the first one was issued in August, 1982. By 2009, Twin Galaxies had produced more than 200 of them, each documenting important videogame milestones. Most were printed in short-run limited editions of about 20, imprinted with individual registration numbers to prove authenticity.
Day also is responsible for the trading card program, which commemorates industry pioneers, videogame personalities, world record-holders and tournament champions, as well as industry milestones, inventions and historic events.
"Each card is like a little window into the history of the videogame age," Day said. "Not only have we created cards that honor famous people and events, but we have also documented the lives of many people who have contributed greatly to the videogame industry, but who have been overlooked by the history books.
"All these forgotten people are like thousands of colorful threads in a big tapestry," the industry historian emphasized. "Together, they form a picture that tells the story of the videogame age." The cards are described at videogametradingcards.com.
Iowa Contemporary Art is a nonprofit organization founded in 2003 to bring fine art to the citizens of southeast Iowa and beyond. The organization is online at icon-art.org. The Twin Galaxies exhibition was funded through contributions from Eric Tessler (La Habra, CA), an acclaimed member of the arcade restoration community in California and executive producer of two videogame documentary films slated for release in 2013.
Since 1982, Twin Galaxies has been the historical scorekeeper and contest adjudicator for videogames worldwide. As the founder of organized videogame play, Twin Galaxies has codified and enforced the rules, verified world records and crowned the champions. It is the official supplier of verified records to the annual Guinness World Records-Gamer's Edition.
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