National Videogame Museum

Museum dedicated to the history of video-games located in castle square, showcasing games of the past, present and future.



The National Videogame Museum is a museum and cultural centre dedicated to video games. It exhibits a collection of historic and contemporary video games dating back over five decades. Originally opened in Nottingham in 2015, it moved to Sheffield in 2018, located in the old Castle House market, a Grade II listed building. It describes itself as the world’s first cultural centre dedicated entirely to video games.
It holds a number of gaming consoles, computers and arcade cabinets, all of which are free for guests to use. Featured hardware includes the BBC Micro from 1981, the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Megadrive systems from the late ‘80s, the Game Boy Advance from 2001, to contemporary Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox and PC systems. Featured arcade machines include dance-rhythm game Dancing Stage Fusion and light-gun game Gunblade NY. Also available is music simulator Rock Band, which allows players to play their favourite songs in a band with virtual instruments, using controllers shaped like guitars and drum kits. Visitors can also pose and take pictures with a life-size statue of gaming icon Sonic the Hedgehog, and visit the gift shop.
The museum also showcases some popular games that were made in Sheffield by local companies such as Sumo Digital (creators of Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed and LittleBigPlanet 3) and Gremlin Graphics. Made-in-Sheffield games available to play are Snake Pass, a platform game with a unique physics engine; and Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension, a classic speedy-action game on the Amiga computer, from 1992.
The museum is run by the BGI, a new charity mirroring the British Film Institute, but overseeing video games culture. The BGI describe themselves as a charity that works to educate the public about the art, science, history and technology of video games. They have been recognised by Arts Council of England, Creative England, Creative Scotland, UK Young Artists, the British Library, and many others as a leading proponent of videogame culture, and they run a range of educational programmes based around games culture and industry.
In the back area of the museum, behind the rows of arcade games, is an area called ‘The Lab’ – an educational area where guests can learn about the creation of video games, with console development kits and computers that guests can use to design their own gaming creations.
Sheffield boasts other gaming-related attractions near to the museum. Located just down the road is Meltdown, an eSports bar where visitors can drink and play or watch competitive video games. Also located a short walk away is the Extra Life Gaming Lounge, a more relaxed café serving drinks and hot and cold food, with video games available for guests to play.
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