The RetroMadrid Fair is an event that takes place once a year in Madrid with the aim of refreshing our memory with regards to IT and classical video games. The Fair gathers exhibitors from the whole of Spain, offering visitors the possibility of playing video games from all eras.
The Research Group GIPI, from the University of Alcala, participated in a workshop that contributed to families being able to collaborate while playing and in which thinking, reflecting and creating were the main goals. Boys, girls and adults were able to play popular games from the 80s and 90s, as well as current ones.
Several workshops were organized, Retro-Olympics as a family, playing knows no age, especially aimed at boys and girls and their families. The area had 6 game stations that included consoles, relevant at different points of the video game´s story. In addition, 6 laptop computers were available to players.
Participants included pairs and groups made up of individuals from several age groups. They went round the different stations, which displayed cooperative video games from three different eras: the 80s, the 90s and the 00s. Families operated the controllers of different consoles, from the most classical such as Atari 2600 or Super Nintendo, to the most modern, such as Wii or Playstation 2. It was possible to play games such as the classical Space Invaders and to manage characters such as Super Mario Bros, Sonic, Goofy or The Ninja Turtles, as well as to play a Beatles song with Rock Band.
In this context, sometimes it was the child who, more of an expert in the most current video games, taught the adult how to approach a strategy, while at other times, in the case of the older video games, it was the adult who had most confidence and skill, which he or she used to guide the younger ones.
Through play, children and adults reflected on the basis of the game. They had access to computers from which they could share their opinions and comments, through the Weblog created for the Fair, regarding what they had thought of the workshop, what they had learned, what the games were like, what they had discovered, etc.