Nottingham, UK - 19 September 2013/... Experts from GameCity – the World’s best loved videogame festival – are giving players the chance to take a trip down memory lane. And they want to add those memories to the National Videogame Archive – a collection of more than 6,500 game-related items held as part of a partnership between Nottingham Trent University and the Science Museum, London.
In an Antiques Roadshow-style event to be held during the GameCity8 festival in Nottingham, videogamers past and present (and people who live with them!) are being urged to bring along their Commodore 64s, Sinclair ZX 81s and Ataris and explain what they meant to them.
However, it’s not just the children of the 1980s and 1990s who are being asked to show up, according to GameCity director Iain Simons:
“We want anyone whose life has been touched by videogames to explain what they mean to them – from the early days of home computers to PlayStations and XBoxes.
“The National Videogame Archive is not just a collection of old games, it includes marketing material, fan art and spin-off toys. The archive isn’t just about preserving software, it’s about preserving what videogames mean to people now and in the past.
“What was it like back in the day when there was only one TV in the house and play would be interrupted by mum and dad wanting to watch the news, for example? Or how did friends and relatives react after you got your first Sega Megadrive and spent the whole of Christmas Day glued to it?
“Often, the best way to find out about a videogaming and its culture is not by playing the games but by talking to the player about what it meant to them at that point in their lives. We want to store these memories for posterity.”
The event will be held at Angel Row Library on Angel Row, Nottingham, starting at 11am on Tuesday October 22 during GameCity 8, the Nottingham city centre-based festival of videogame culture, which last year attracted more than 50,000 visitors.
Mr Simons added that particularly special memorabilia – consoles, disks, cartridges, artwork, packaging and any other game-related material – could be considered for addition to the archive. Many of the memories will form part of an event at the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, which begins in October.
GameCity is run by Nottingham Trent University’s School of Arts and Humanities to bring together the public and private sector to pioneer innovative thinking and deliver major research and inclusion projects.
Going beyond just playing games, GameCity8 will offer new ways to interact with videogame culture – art exhibitions, developers’ commentaries, re-creations of videogames, gigs, arcade trails and club nights – from Saturday October 19 to Saturday October 26.
As well as two giant screens that will be in different positions each day in Nottingham’s Old Market Square, this year’s festival will also include the unveiling of the winners of the Off the Map competition, a collaboration between GameCity, Crytek software and the British Library. Based on drawings and maps of Stonehenge, the Tower of London or the Pyramids.
To contact GameCity email firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 0115 993 2359 or write to GameCity, Antenna, 9 Beck Street, Nottingham, NG1 1EQ.
Notes to editors
What is the National Videogame Archive?
Largely stored at the National Media Museum, Bradford, it aims to celebrate the culture and preserve the history of videogames for researchers, developers, game fans and the public, placing games in their historical, social, political and cultural contexts.
This means treating videogames as more than inert, digital code and will document the full life of games – from prototypes and early sketches, through box artwork, advertising and media coverage, to modifications, fan art and community activities.
The intention is to encourage a debate about what games are, what they mean to the people who play them and what elements of them should be preserved.
The GameCity8 festival will take place between Saturday October 19 to Saturday October 26 at venues across Nottingham city centre, including the Old Market Square, Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building and Nottingham Contemporary art gallery.
GameCity, a Nottingham Trent University project, organises events through the year culminating in the festival each autumn. This year two giant screens in Nottingham’s Old Market Square will form the festival centrepiece.
Called simply Two Big Screens, the five metre by three metre screens will be used to showcase games developed especially for GameCity8 by well-known developers.
A different game will feature each day and the screens will be moving overnight so visitors who left the square with the screens facing each other for that day’s gaming might return in the morning to find the screens flat on the floor ready for the next day’s fun.
Events throughout the city centre will include:
· Family Takeover at Nottingham Trent University’s Newton building on Saturday October 19 and Sunday October 20 – including the results of a GameCity and Confetti Media project involving Nottingham Schools. Pupils were asked to build their version of Nottingham using the Minecraft game and the results will be printed out using 3D printing technology.
· GameCityLimits on October 23 and October 24 - a vibrant conference exploring the fringes and boundaries where videogames and interactive culture intersects business and media. It will feature media industry leaders such as Macmillian, Channel 4, EMI and Wellcome coming together for a round of presentations, talks and panel discussions. Business-focused sessions will explore new directions and commercial advice for businesses, helping them navigate and collaborate within the cross-sector commissioning landscape.
· Off the Map competition at Nottingham Contemporary on Wednesday October 23 – unveiling the winners of this collaboration between GameCity, Crytek software and the British Library. Based on historic drawings and maps of Stonehenge, the Tower of London and the Egyptian Pyramids, and involving computer programming students from 11 universities, the only brief is to “surprise and challenge” the judges.
· The GameCity Prize – a shortlist for the annual award for the most exceptional videogame of the year will be drawn up at an event on Thursday October 24. Last year’s judging panel was chaired by Lord Puttnam.
· Leading developer Mike Bithell will be joining a discussion about mythology and how myths develop before revealing his latest game on Friday October 25. The venue and the subject of the game remain a closely guarded secret… for now.
The festival will also feature an exclusive director commentary of the classic Gone Home game and Minority Media will be unveiling its Silent Enemy project.
As well as the festival, GameCity organises a series of events held throughout the year and across the UK. Projects aim to contextualise videogames as accessible, important, cultural, visionary and enduring pieces of work made by creative people with diverse skills, ambitions and imaginations.
GameCity is a Nottingham Trent University project with support and backing from a range of private and public sector partners such as Nottingham City Council, Broadway Media Centre, and Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies.
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