Heartland art show manifests video gaming culture

Walter Day working on trading card display.

If youâ??re from Ottumwa, the name â??Twin Galaxiesâ?? may ring a bell.

â??I loved playing video games so much back in 1980/â??81 that I opened up an arcade in Ottumwa as an excuse to play more video games that was called Twin Galaxies, which was a pretty well-known name over in Ottumwa,â?? Walter Day said.

While Day says the arcade closed its doors years ago, Twin Galaxies lives on.

â??It's the scorekeeper for the world video game playing,â?? he said. â??We've published the Video Game Book of World Records and we only have a website now, we don't have an actual have a store or anything, but to celebrate the 32 years and the existence of Twin Galaxies and all the things we've done to commemorate video game history, we're having this art gallery exhibition.â??

He has designed more than 600 colorful posters and trading cards being featured at the Iowa Contemporary Art Gallery.

â??No one had ever started a set of trading cards in the same way thereâ??s trading cards for baseball players and football players, Twin Galaxies has created a set of video game trading cards.â??

The cards memorialize the history of gaming culture and honor pioneers, personalities, world record holders and legendary games.

â??It's gonna continue Monday, which would be the 5th, up until the Saturday the 10th,â?? Day said. â??We're gonna have a gala/red carpet awards ceremony here at the Sondheim Center and also here in the art gallery. Pacman's coming here by the way!â??

Iconâ??s founder says the exhibit will bring in a large and unique crowd of people.

â??What I like is that people from all over the country are gonna see the icon gallery and go back to their parts of the country and let people know there's this art gallery in the town of Fairfield in Iowa.â??

The "Video Game Trading Cards and Posters Exhibition of Twin Galaxies" is free and will go all week at the ICON art studio located on 58 N. Main St. Over 100 gaming celebrities are expected to be in Fairfield all day Saturday, Aug. 10 signing autographs and receiving awards. The gala will begin at 7 p.m. at the Sondheim Center in the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center.