Games in Art

Games in Art

Whether it's an ancient board game, a team sport, or simply made up on the school playground, games have entertained and challenged us as children and adults for centuries...perhaps this is why they are such an inspiration to art and artists. Find out more below...


Make a playdate 

Be transported to a children's playground with a new, immersive exhibition by Belgium artist Francis Alÿs at London's Barbican Centre, which opens this week (27 June). Ricochets marks Alÿs's largest institutional show in the UK in 15 years, and will feature his highly acclaimed series, Children's Games. Through multi-screen film installations, visitors will be immersed in game playing across the world. Join in with familiar favourites, such as 'musical chairs' in Mexico and 'leapfrog' in Iraq, or discover new ones like 'wolf and lamb' in Afghanistan. 

Learn More


Film of the Week

Records of people playing chess date back over 1,500 years. In our film of the week, we are transported back nearly 500 years ago to a 1555 Renaissance painting by Italian artist Sofonisba Anguissola. The painting depicts three siblings playing chess, with Anguissola capturing her sisters at a pivotal moment in the game. The sister on the right appears shocked, her mouth slightly ajar, as she watches her sister opposite who is moving a piece. Has someone just shouted checkmate? Learn more about this work and why Anguissola was considered so radical for her time by clicking the link below. 

Watch Now


Game On

Can video games be considered art? This is the question being asked at the travelling exhibition 'Game On', opening this weekend at the National Museum of Scotland (29 June). The exhibition will trace the 50-year history and evolving technology of video games as a new art form. It showcases key game developments from 1962 to the present day, and look towards the limitless future of the medium. Experience the advancements yourself with over 150 playable games on display, including Spaces Invaders, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Minecraft.