The “Computer” exhibition of Lausanne. Part 1: A first overview

This paper is part of a dossier about the “Computer” exhibition, taking place in Lausanne 1978-2004.   This dossier includes a series of articles to be published over the coming weeks. In this first one, I present my methodological choices, the corpus studied, and the main periods of “Computer”.

by Pierre-Yves Hurel

In what specific cultural and technological environment did video games emerge in French-speaking Switzerland? What are the regional particularities that need to be taken into account here? How was the computerization  covered by the local press? To answer these questions, I decided to study the media coverage of the “Computer” exhibition. The show was held biannually, then annually from 1978 to 2004 in Lausanne-Beaulieu. Enormous halls then were home to the world’s and local computer industry’s finest, spread out over multiple stands equipped with computers, goodies, and explanatory leaflets. In between the aisles, senior executives came in search of “IT solutions” and curious onlookers came to discover the newest “cutting-edge” machines.

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