Q*bert endures as one of the most inventive and endearing games from the early history of arcade video games. Created by designer Warren Davis, artist Jeff Lee, composer David Thiel and others for D. Gottlieb & Co. in 1982, the game stars the cute, stout-nosed Q*bert who must hop around a pyramid of cubes while dodging enemies.  Q*bert was notable for its distinctive protagonist, isometric cube playfield, and simple, clever action gameplay in contrast to the dominant shooter, racing and maze games of its time. Known primarily for being a pinball company, Gottlieb found a significant — yet singular — hit in the arcade coin-op field with Q*bert.

 @!#?@!: Art, Design and Sound of Q*bert is an exhibition featuring the playable arcade game Q*bert, several console iterations of the game, the Parker Bros board game, concept design documents, photographs, and art by Warren Davis and Jeff Lee as well as an array of licensed Qbert ephemera. Additional highlights include a reel highlighting the legacy of the game in other media, and an informational video by David Thiel about Qbert’s Votrax speech synthesizer that generated Q*bert’s incoherent outbursts. The exhibition title takes its name from the original, unpronounceable title of Q*bert, immortalized in a speech bubble in the game and in cabinet art.  Curated by Ethan Johnson and Jonathan Kinkley. Loan courtesy of Logan Arcade.


@!#?@!: the Art, Design and Sound of Q*bert

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Todd Friedman Todd Friedman (403 Posts)

Todd Friedman is heavily involved in the retro gaming community and has co-promoted the Video Game Summit in Chicago, IL for the past 16 years. He also has published 2 books and written for various different gaming magazines including Old School Gamer.