Video game centre to open in Nottingham - Museums Association

Video game centre to open in Nottingham

Venue will include items from Science Museum and Nottingham Trent University
Gary Noakes
Some of the 12,000-plus video game items held by the Science Museum and Nottingham Trent University’s archive will go on display in Nottingham next spring following a £2.5m investment in a permanent exhibition.

The National Videogame Archive, described as the “world’s first cultural centre for gaming”, will open in March, cementing the city’s status as a video gaming centre.

Nottingham has staged GameCity, the annual videogame culture festival, for the past nine years. Iain Simons, the director of GameCity, is behind the latest initiative,which is in a five-storey building in the former home of The Midland Group of Artists.

Funding for the project comes from Nottingham Trent, the city council, the Nottingham Technology Grant Fund and the city’s Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies. The investment will underwrite the first three years of the NVA’s existence.

Simons said the museum was a natural extension for the city. “For the past nine years we have run the free festival and that was followed by the establishment of the archive set up in 2008 by Nottingham Trent and the Science Museum. The whole project has moved inexorably towards needing this anchorage.”

The museum is in the Hockley district, known as the city’s Creative Quarter, near The Lace Market. It will occupy five floors across 33,000 square feet. Four floors will exhibit themed quarterly exhibitions and one will be dedicated to education, allowing visitors hands-on experience of game making.

“We are seeking to bring a contextual, cultural and critical form to all this,” Simons said. “There will be a permanent exhibition of the treasures, the things everyone wants to see like the Star Wars cockpit cabinet and the Sega Rally Console. Part of this will be the best arcade you are ever going to have on free play.”

Simons said the exhibitions would be paid-for and cost “less than the price of a cinema ticket”, but that general entry would be free.

He added that the aim was to provide a family attraction but that day membership would be a minimum requirement for entry.

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