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Sheffield’s National Videogame Museum will celebrate classic consoles, coin-ops and more when it opens in November

Sheffield’s National Videogame Museum will celebrate classic consoles, coin-ops and more when it opens in November
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A national museum dedicated to video games promises to take in the past, present and future of gaming.

Never mind the Natural History Museum or the Science Museum, you’ll soon be able to explore the National Videogame Museum (NVM) when it opens in Sheffield on November 24.

As the name suggests, the museum will be a celebration of video games past and present. It won’t all be about getting the rose-tinted specs out and looking at classic retro efforts, though, as the future of gaming and titles still to be published will also be catered for.

Visitors will be able to partake of a host of fully playable arcade machines and consoles, and enjoy the likes of events and festivals, not to mention exhibitions put on by game developers.

Previously, this experience was trialled as the National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham, which had some 50,000 visitors on an annual basis, and boasted exhibitions featuring the likes of Football Manager and indie puzzler Monument Valley, to cite a couple of examples.

Dynamic space

Iain Simons, Culture Director of the BGI, the organisation that runs the NVM, commented: “In our dynamic new space, we’re bringing videogame creators into the Museum to meet their players, showing visitors what games mean and responding to our community’s requests and ideas for new exhibits.”

He added: “We’re delighted to launch a test lab with Boneloaf’s Gang Beasts and we’re talking to publishers and developers about showcasing their work to our broad audience.”

BGI Chair and patron of the NVM – and author of those Fighting Fantasy books we fondly recall – Ian Livingstone CBE, chipped in: “The NVM is the games industry’s own museum, celebrating our games, our studios and our sector’s achievements over 40 years.

“I invite anyone who cares about the cultural life of video games to join leaders from across the industry and support this amazing project with content, evangelism and funding to help expand the programme in the years to come.”

If you ever thought of museums as anything along the lines of what might be the typical stereotype – dusty old buildings full of snore-inducing exhibits – then you can certainly guarantee the NVM experience won’t be anything like that.

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