Gaming Gets A Cultural Center


A national videogame arcade will open tomorrow in the UK — and it’s arcade in the sense of cultural rather than coin-op.

The facility is in Nottingham, a city that already holds an annual GameCity festival that’s included everything from a Sega game music concert to games awards judged by non-gamers.

The city’s gaming heritage goes back long before that as it was the home of Games Workshop, which became a tabletop gaming store empire. Co-founders Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone went on to create the Fighting Fantasy series (somewhere between Choose Your Own Adventure and an RPG), while Livingstone went into video games and became a key player at Tomb Raider publisher Eidos.

The National Videogame Arcade has three floors of “playable exhibitions” including a collection of arcade and home consoles from the past few decades, plus special temporary exhibits. The initial exhibits include:

  • a look at the many ways games have incorporated jumping actions, including exploration of the sounds used to denote jumping and the way games incorporate gravity;
  • an interactive history of videogames made up 100 physical objects; and
  • the Hall of Inputs, a collection of some of the less conventional game controllers and input methods. This includes an option for visitors to make their own controllers out of fruit.

There’s also an events space that will feature social activities, educational events and game development workshops.

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