Today I went to the opening of the “Evolution of Gaming” exhibit of old computer games at the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver. Unlike many other exhibits of historical computer games that date back half a century or more, this one lets you play with the originals.

In order to accomplish this, the organizers searched on eBay and other places, to find original games from the ’80s, ’70s and earlier that had just been languishing in garages and basements for decades. Where needed, the games were put back into working order, and now the experience of playing them has been opened up to the public.

There were lots of little kids roaming around the exhibit today, trying out such classics as Pong, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Pac Man and, well, Evolution. It’s wonderful to see these kids take to such games with true excitement and enthusiasm. They weren’t counting pixels and polygons, and they didn’t seem to care that there wasn’t a modern GPU in sight.

It’s good to be reminded that some things are timeless — like good game design.