Event of the week
Game On, Science Museum
Remember that game on the ZX81 in which you had to manoeuvre a letter X through a minefield of dangerous letter O's? And the equally addictive follow-up, in which the Earth (represented by a series of hyphens) needed saving from a belligerent battlegroup of aliens (menacingly realised as a creeping cluster of hashes)? Ah, happy days. Well, apparently, gaming has developed somewhat since then. And we intend to learn more by visiting 'Game On' at the Science Museum:
The exhibition will feature the ten most influential consoles of all time plus more than 100 playable games so you'll be transported back in time to play some of the defining games of the last forty years and reminisce over the classic games of your childhood. Meanwhile younger gamers will be introduced to the history of current gaming software and hardware and get their hands on the now retro games that their parents played in their youth.
If it sounds a little familiar, it's because Game On was first hosted at the Barbican four years ago. Expect lots of nostalgia ("Wow, the theme tune to Outrun sounds much tinnier than I remember") and plenty of queuing ("Red Elf is about to die").
More details here, including lists of playable games. Anyone for R-Type?
Event of the Week was a tough pick this time, with strong competition from all quarters. For example, the Dana Centre are setting up a series of fairground rides in their courtyard (stitch that, Gresham College) under the seemingly oxymoronic banner of 'Thrill Laboratory". Over the next week, you can take a turn on the Miami trip (tonight) or ghost train (next Tuesday and Wednesday), while considering the nature of thrill and fear. And you get free food, seemingly selected for max voms: 'Canapés, soup and fizzy pop'.
Londonist prefers to keep its feet on terra firma, so we're going along to Imperial College on Thursday to vote for the best science book ever. A panel of three will discuss the shortlist before the audience gets to decide.
A quick round-up of other events. The Dana takes a break from white-knuckles on Thursday to examine why diabetes is disproportionately common in the African-Caribbean population. Gresham College also tackles medical matters in a free lecture tomorrow, but focusses on infectious diseases. Imperial College will be hosting a Royal Institution event in which Science Graduate of the Year Alex Mischenko talks about his innovative cooling technologies. Over at the Old Operating Theatre near London Bridge, a series of talks continues on Saturday with a look at Victorian surgery. And the Natural History Museum discusses the latest science headlines (tomorrow), the botany of Captain Cook's first voyage (Fri) and wildlife photography (Sat-Tue).
When and where
Fairground: Thrill Laboratory-Pleasure, tonight, 5.30-9.45, £10
A cool use for old materials, tonight, 7pm, Royal Institution, £8
The best science books ever, Thur, 6.30, Royal Institution, £8
Pathogens and parasites; plagues and pandemics, Thur 1pm, Bernard's Inn, FREE
In the Headlines, Thur, 2.30, NHM, FREE
Diabetes in the African-Caribbean Community, Thur, 7pm, Dana Centre, FREE
The Botany of Captain Cook’s First Voyage, Fri, 2.30, NHM, FREE
Game On, From Sat, Science Museum, £8.50 (adults), £6.50 children
Victorian Surgery, Sat, 2pm, Old Operating Theatre, £4.95
Behind the Lens - Wildlife Photographers, Sat/Sun/Mon/Tue, 12, 2.30, NHM, FREE
Fairground: Thrill Laboratory-Pleasure, Tuesday, 5.30-9.45, £10