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National Videogame Archive Visit

A Pile O’ Stuff to sort

Today I visited the National Videogame Archive, or the beginnings of it at least! I met with Tom Woolley, who is the Curator of New Media – the National Media Museum where this is going to be hosted is branching out into videogames after it’s name change – previously it focused on TV, radio, photography and film.

The archive in it’s initial state was pretty cool to get some pictures of, and the start of it considering it’s only been publicised this month, is a damn good one. Tom detailed every way the archive stuff at the museum was setup and his plans to put on hopefully a permanent exhibition (maybe with interactive elements and some games to play), or at least a temporary exhibition of videogames once the museum has enough material – perhaps in a few years. These are quite lofty aims, and hopefully the collection will rapidly grow to fill the need. When putting on an exhibition Tom will be able to get more material specifically for that exhibit too – hopefully adding interviews, oral histories, and so on and so forth to the collection.

The original Sony Eyetoy Prototype!

There’s a great deal of work to do – luckily, it is run through the museum rather then it’s own endeavour so he has a lot of help (although, it comes with a cost of justifying all his decisions due to their somewhat limited space and money 🙂 ). He is requesting any material that might be worth via. the donations policy. Since they haven’t got a complete console collection yet, and not an abundance of games, now might be a good opportunity to help!

Since this is the only videogame archive in the UK now, since Swindon’s efforts are currently closed down for now, it is a worthwhile think donating and helping the project if you can. There are more general computer museums for mainframes and non-videogame computers of course, but this specifically will also archive all kinds of culturally worthy material for videogames too – including relevant magazine collections, digital material, and a lot of things developers might have 🙂