By Sam Lewis

THEY are as big a part of Dundee as Jam, Jute and Journalism. Video games have a serious history in City of Discovery. So serious that some of them are now museum pieces.

Tayside’s sleek new V&A this Easter will demonstrate just how much design go in to a product that, decades after their launch, is still not universally acknowledged as an art.

The £80m venue - which has had half a million visitors since it opened last September - on Saturday opens a new exhibition, Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt/

Forget what you know about Pong and Space Invaders, or even the latest high-tech immersive digital worlds, such as Dundee’s own Grand Theft Auto. This exhibit is a way to dive deep in to the world of game design, and the maths behind it.

Visitors will be taken on journey through the design of a product a concept art, storyboards, music and even computer code underlying several revolutionary games from the last decade.

Popular releases such as The Last of Us and No Man’s Sky feature heavily, but smaller independent games and unreleased prototypes are also on show.

There is an entire section concerning mobile games. The display also considers issues like gender, race and sexuality in video games, asking whether developers are doing enough to represent minorities.

In addition to the serious and the intriguing, gamers will be happy to know there is plenty of opportunity to play games at the exhibition.

So why Dundee? Marie Foulston, lead exhibition curator and V&A Curator of Videogames, said: “It’s hugely exciting to see this new iteration of Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt open at V&A Dundee this week, in a city which continues to have such a profound impact on videogame design and culture.

“Whether you come as a local game designer, a seasoned player, or are simply creatively curious, I hope you leave feeling inspired and with a greater understanding of and appreciation for one of the most fascinating mediums of our time.”

Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, meanwhile, enthused: “This is a very exciting show for anyone with an interest in art, creativity and design, as well as makers and players of videogames.

“At V&A Dundee”, he continued, “we want to present the very highest quality exhibitions, and having such wonderful exhibition galleries enables us to create immersive, beautifully designed experiences that are really thrilling for visitors.”

Dundee became known as a global hub of the video games industry after Abertay University created the world’s first Computer Games Technology degree in the 1990s. This led to the gaming phenomenon that is Grand Theft Auto.

The controversial franchise did not change the gaming landscape immediately, but its reach grew with the release of each title. Like it or not, this is art for our digital age.

Rockstar and the Grand Theft Auto series went global, with the latest entry in the series becoming the highest grossing entertainment product in history. As of November 2018 it had sold 90m units and made upwards of $6billion. In spite of this success, Rockstar has never left Scotland. They have offices across the world now, but their Scottish contingent, now in Edinburgh, remains crucial to their output.