Train2Game News National Videogame Museum opens soon

Sheffield, 15th October 2018: The National Videogame Museum(NVM), the UK’s only permanent games museum that celebrates videogames and the people who make them, is opening in Sheffield on November 24th.

The NVM hosts scores of playable consoles and arcade machines, innovative exhibitions of studios, their games and how they are made, as well as cultural festivals, clubs for kids and parents, and a host of events. The NVM will feature unique exhibitions reaching back to the industry’s birth and forward to games still in development.

Following an acclaimed run in Nottingham as the National Videogame Arcade, the new museum will build on a pedigree of strong review scores, consecutive TripAdvisor awards and 50,000 visitors a year.

“We’ve always tried to do more than just put out games for people to play”, said Iain Simons, Culture Director of the BGI, which runs the NVM. “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.”

Following the success of previous exhibitions featuring Football Manager, Dizzy and Monument Valley, the Museum is working with games companies to create new, more ambitious shows. “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.”

Kath Bidwell, founder of State of Play Games, said “I’m really excited about the launch of the National Videogame Museum at its brand new home at the heart of Sheffield city centre. The games industry is fantastically creative and culturally significant and now we have a great place to celebrate and embrace that.”

NVM Patron and BGI Chair Ian Livingstone CBE said “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.”

The NVM has been supported by patrons including Ian Livingstone, Andy Payne, Sumo Digital, Rebellion, Rami Ismail, Masaya Matsuura and many others over the years.The non-profit NVM is seeking help from the sector to take videogame culture to hundreds of thousands more visitors”.

Train2Game News Great Fire of London in Minecraft

The Museum of London is drawing on its rich 17th-century collections and historical expertise to create a unique and immersive virtual experience of the Great Fire of London using the videogame Minecraft.
Titled Great Fire 1666, the game will allow the museum to tell the story of the Great Fire like never before, as players can walk down the streets of London, interact with the very people of 1666, combat the flames, and rebuild their own vision of the capital. It will be playable on both PC and Mac from 29 July 2016.

The Museum of London is working with Digital Producer Adam Clarke, and Minecraft professionals Blockworks and Dragnoz to build three interactive maps released in three stages.

The first map launching next week is based on Wenceslaus Hollar’s map of burnt London from the museum’s collection. Featuring notable landmarks such as London Bridge, the old St Paul’s Cathedral, and the infamous Pudding Lane, a treasure hunt across the city will give players the chance to explore the streets in search of audio clips, introducing gamers to the factors that played a crucial role in the events that unfolded, including the long dry summer, wooden houses, narrow streets, and the ways in which people lived.

The second phase of Great Fire 1666, released in September 2016 around the 350th anniversary of the disaster, will take players through the start and spread of the Great Fire, from Pudding Lane to Pie Corner, as they take part in a series of mini-games to help evacuate residents, get stuck into fire-fighting, make crucial decisions and engage with famous figures from the time. The third and final stage of the game, released in February 2017, will see players creating and building their own vision of London, using examples of the architectural plans drawn up by the likes of Christopher Wren and John Evelyn.

Digital Learning Coordinator at the Museum of London and project lead, Joshua Blair, said: “Minecraft is an incredible game that captivates and inspires users of all ages around the world. Its reach and versatility offers museums a fantastic platform to share our knowledge and collections, and create engaging experiences. The Great Fire of London is one of the most popular topics within our learning programme, which currently reaches about 130,000 schoolchildren each year, and we hope that Great Fire 1666 will create a fun learning experience that can engage every young person in this fascinating story.”

The first map will be available to download for free online at www.museumoflondon.org.uk from 29 July 2016.

Great Fire 1666 forms part of the Museum of London’s varied programme of exhibitions, events, walks, talks and activities to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. This includes Fire! Fire!, a family-friendly exhibition opening on 23 July 2016 to 17 April 2017, which will focus on what happened in London just before, during and after the fire. Tickets priced from £8 for adults and £4 for children online, family tickets are available. Further information: www.museumoflondon.org.uk/fire-fire

Train2Game News: Smithsonian adds video games to its collection

SmithsonianThe Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., has announced the addition of two video games to its permanent collection.

This is as part of “an ongoing commitment to the study and preservation of video games as an artistic medium.”

Flower (2009), a game by Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago from thatgamecompany, is to be inducted into the collection alongside Halo 2600 (2010) by Ed Fries, the former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft.

Explaining its decision in a statement, the Smithsonian said: “Video games offer a compelling avant-garde performance space, activated by artists and players alike. These media art practices are distinct from film, video and theatre and mark a critical development in the history of art.

“The inclusion of video games furthers the mission of the museum and ensures the ongoing preservation, study and interpretation of video games as part of the national collection of American art.”

The addition of these games to one of the biggest museums in the world is a great step forward for the games industry. The world is starting to accept video games as art in much the same way films are considered art.  We can only hope more follow the Smithsonian’s lead.

The Smithsonian added in its statement that it is looking to expand its collection of video in the future.