When Kamina Vincent returns to Canberra next week, she will be coming full circle.
Vincent is a producer at Mountain - a craft games company based in Melbourne - which, in the past 18 months, has taken out a BAFTA and an Apple Design Award for its mobile game Florence.
That same game will also be showcased along with some of the most influential games of the past 50 years when the National Film and Sound Archive opens Game Masters: The Exhibition on Friday.
However, if you had told Vincent a few years ago that this would all happen, she wouldn't have believed it. Not just because she never imagined reaching such heights, but because when she first moved to Canberra, she didn't even like video games.
"When I grew up, my parents weren't very big on games and I didn't really get to watch much commercial TV, so The Simpsons is completely foreign to me," she says.
"And when I was a teenager I bought into the 'games are silly. Why do people play games?' and I looked down on them a bit."
It wasn't until she got a part time job at a Canberra games store during university that Vincent started playing video games. "I figured I probably should know what I was selling."
She was hooked.
"People watch movies. People read books. And games are the same kind of hobby," Vincent says.
"There's an interaction, there's a story that you can make, there's a story that you can create yourself and I found that really powerful.
"Within the first few months that I started playing, I remember that I cried in a game when a character died and that is the emotional impact that a game can have. It's just as much [as] a movie or a book."
It's possible Vincent's emotional connection to gaming was her biggest asset while working on Florence.
The mobile game has been praised for being everything that games are usually not, including the way it conveys emotion.
Florence is centred around a Melbourne woman's first serious relationship, and while still technically a game, it plays out more like an interactive story, using simple gaming elements to progress each stage of the story.
For example, when Florence sketches out a drawing of her boyfriend, the gamer swipes their finger across the screen to reveal the image. Or when she's talking, they assemble a simple puzzle to progress the conversation.
While the player doesn't have an impact on how the story is going to end, as the game guides them through Florence's day-to-day life, it conveys emotions such as infatuation and estrangement better than most other games.
"We took lots of inspiration from movies rather than games themselves," Vincent says.
"It's really quite linear, it tells a story and once you've finished that story it doesn't really change if you go back and play it.
"But a love story was something that we wanted to explore. Love is everywhere. We all have relationships of various kinds, whether they are platonic or romantic ... why not explore this everyday aspect of what we all experience?"
The Mountain team really explored the idea of touch and how it is conveyed on mobile. As a gesture, touch can be quite intimate, yet most people don't think twice when touching something such as their phones.
"We wanted to really build on a story that utilised touch to draw people into it a bit more," Vincent says.
"It's such an intimate gesture and our phones are with us all the time. We're constantly connecting with people on them and they know so much about us."
But it's Florence's use of diversity that may just be what really pushes the game beyond other gaming experiences.
Through the characters of Florence, a Chinese-Australian and Krish, an Indian-Australian, the game tells a story of everyday Australia.
It's this approach to the story which has created something more Australian than stories seen as quintessentially Aussie, such as Crocodile Dundee.
"We're really keen to push diversity not only within the industry but also in the stories that we tell," Vincent says.
"Ken [Wong, Mountain director] is Chinese-Australian, I'm half-Japanese myself and we wanted to reflect our experiences because Australia is multicultural.
"These are Australian stories so why not tell them? We didn't want it to be super blatant about it, it's just those little pieces of our lives.
"People have really connected with that. Someone played our game in a demo and he walked away saying 'he's got my nose' and that really impacted him.
"I love that we've been able to do that."
If Florence isn't an example of the breadth of what exactly can be, it's hard to say exactly what would.
That's part of the reason why Vincent is so proud of the accolades Florence has received - because it goes beyond what people expect a video game to be.
That's also the reason Vincent is so excited for Canberrans to see Game Masters because it showcases the games which broke the mould of what a game should be and succeeded from that.
It's also a demonstration of just how far gaming has come since the arcade games of the 1970s.
At one point in time, gaming was seen as something for children and teenagers, and the games, as such, reflected the audience they were catering for.
Now, video games play a role in the lives of a much larger portion of the population.
Two out of three Australians play video games and almost every household - nine out of 10 - has a device on which games are played. Seventy-eight per cent of players are over 18 and the average gamer is 34 years old. Meanwhile, 47 per cent of gamers are female.
"It's really a whole society which is engaged - it's huge," National Film and Sound Archive director Jan Muller says.
As the national agency concerned with Australia's audiovisual heritage, the archive has been collecting video games - as well as traditional media - to record what has had an impact on society.
"As a collecting agency, it's important that the collection represents the development of games in this country which means that we start to collect games from the 80s, from the 90s and also from 2000 and later," Muller says.
"I remember when games came out in the 80s and even the end of the 70s you had to play them with cassette tapes and you had to upload it. Now it's people playing online and on their mobile devices, and even with virtual reality headsets.
"So all of those platforms, all those games that defined the development of video games in this country and the way video games have been played, it makes sense from an archive perspective to collect and preserve [them] because they all describe in a way - from a media history perspective - how games developed."
It's for this reason the National Film and Sound Archive is exhibiting Game Masters.
"For people to understand what an archive is, you need to show it," Muller says.
Created and curated by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Game Masters opened in Melbourne in 2012. It has since toured to nine museums worldwide including venues in the United States, Germany, New Zealand, Scotland and Sweden.
The exhibit itself has been continually updated. In fact, when Vincent first experienced Game Masters on its opening night in Melbourne, she never dreamed she would be a part of it. Now, her work is not only featured in the exhibition, she will be a guest at Canberra's opening night.
Florence will join the likes of Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds and Minecraft when the exhibition explores the pioneering and future-focused world of independent game designers.
Game Masters will also put the spotlight on old favourites such as Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Asteroids, when it takes a look at the designers and games which started it all in the trailblazing and revolutionary arcade era of the 70s and 80s.
And then there are the game changes such as SingStar, Sonic the Hedgehog, SimCity and Diablo, which had a major impact in shaping the medium.
But by having so many games in one room - aside from providing hours of fun - is a formal acknowledgement of the influence gaming has had on pop culture, and how it has changed over the decades.
"Gaming has developed from a fairly insular way of playing games - simply you against the computer - to a more social playing together event," Muller says.
"For example, when my boys came to Australia they still played games but they did it with their friends in Europe and they're connected through the internet. That's what's happening.
"Games more and more came to be a social event to play together and the numbers shows that - that the power of games is also reflected in the fact that people play games together. It's the power of connection."
Consider Fortnite - one of the biggest games in the world - where every game is being played by 100 people together, online against each other. And then there is the phenomenon of e-sports where people gather to watch other people play games in a stadium or hall. The National Film and Sound Archive will even have an E-Sports event in its cinema come January.
"It creates a community and it changes how people interact with each other as well," Muller says.
- Game Masters: The Exhibition is at the National Film and Sound Archive from September 27 to March 9. Tickets are $19 for adults and $12 for children. See nfsa.gov.au. Kids under the age of four get in free.