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‘Coronavirus threatens the very existence’ of the National Videogame Museum

The National Videogame Museum may close as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We need your help,” pleaded a brief tweet on the organisation’s official Twitter account.

“The UK’s only museum dedicated to videogame culture and education is threatened with permanent closure by Coronavirus,” said a crowdfunding page for the organisation. “Despite 40,000 visitors in 2019, we have no safety net of funding to ensure our new charity outlasts a prolonged shutdown. 

“The UK is in danger of losing this unique venue with nearly 100 playable exhibits, school workshops and family events.

“Please help fund the Museum so it can outlast this global pandemic and continue its important cultural and educational work.”

At the time of writing, the fundraising effort has secured almost 10 per cent of the £80,000 it is trying to raise.

“Coronavirus threatens the very existence of this unique place,” added BGI chair and museum patron, Ian Livingstone (thanks, GI.biz). “The UK’s only museum dedicated to videogames is now under threat. As a new charity which uses video games to inspire the next generation, we have no safety net to help the Museum weather the storm.

“We’ve had the support of some patrons and companies, but without visitors the museum is in grave danger. If you care about video games, please donate in any way you can.”

The coronavirus is affecting the games industry all over the world and in a myriad of ways. In response to the pandemic, E3 2020 has been cancelled, as has EGX Rezzed, GDC, Develop:Brighton 2020, and both Mojang and Electronic Arts have cancelled scheduled live events

Gamescom, however, still opens to proceed as planned. BAFTA has confirmed it’s revising the format on its upcoming Games Awards in light of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), too.

Bungie, EA, Nintendo and now Rockstar have all implemented homeworking to minimise staff exposure to the virus whilst Pokémon Go developer Niantic has made changes to the game to enable players to continue participating even whilst in self-isolation. The increase in people working from home and/or self-isolating, however, has put a strain on online services like Xbox Live and Nintendo Switch Online

A number of publishers have teamed up to create GDC Relief Fund to assist indie devs who may have lost money on paying in advance for the now-cancelled GDC.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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