BGI announces new Creative Director


Sheffield 0900 22/11/2021: BGI announced the appointment of John O’Shea as its new Creative Director. John  will lead the Programming, Collections and Learning teams, overseeing the National Videogame Museum, the GameCity Festival and other BGI projects.

John was Associate Director (Creative) for Science Gallery London, King’s College London’s flagship public-facing facility connecting art, science and health to foster innovation in the heart of the city since September 2018. He worked with over 200 artists and researchers, on ambitious multi-arts programming spanning art, science, design, videogames and performance.

As Senior Exhibitions Manager at National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, John  spearheaded Supersenses, a major exhibition at the relaunched National Science and Media Museum, comprising a suite of artist-led interactive and immersive sensory experiences, each complemented by signature display objects from the Science Museum Group Collection. He also curated and produced the timely “hot-topic” exhibition, Fake News: What Lies Behind the Truth; having previously been at the National Football Museum in Manchester, where he curated Pitch to Pixel, a major exhibition looking at how videogames influence the world beyond the game.

The BGI educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames through the National Videogame Museum and its Collection, its award-winning learning programme and its new Vocational programme which includes the Games Education Summit and Games Careers Week.

BGI CEO Rick Gibson said: “John has an outstanding track record in developing exhibitions and running multi-strand museum and learning programmes. He has a deep appreciation of the new role that the National Videogame Museum and our charity can play in the arts world and wider society. We hope he will challenge our young charity and help us deliver our ambitious programme.”

John O’Shea said: “The rapid evolution of videogaming (and associated technologies, such as computer graphics, the Internet, virtual reality, A.I. etc) has been astonishing: I feel, this is an exciting moment both to reflect on the importance of videogaming, and to explore the future of gaming, and its influence in the world.”

John will take up his position in January 2022.

The new Creative Director will build on the work of Iain Simons, co-founder of the National Videogame Arcade and GameCity, and the BGI’s previous Creative Director. Iain stepped down from the role in summer ‘21 to develop new projects, but will continue to be involved as the museum’s Curator at Large, advising the charity, sitting on the museum’s advisory board and contributing to curation.

Notes to Editors

A press pack including images and video of the galleries is available here.


If you would like to interview BGI staff, please contact Conor Clarke on or 07939 465667.

About the BGI

The BGI is a registered charity number 1183530 that educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames. The BGI runs the National Videogame Museum, Pixelheads, Games Education Summit and is co-founder (alongside Into Games and Grads in Games) of Games Careers Week, a festival promoting games careers to diverse candidates that launched in 2021 and reached 37,000 people and partnered with over 120 games companies, universities, schools and non-profits. For more details about the BGI, please visit:

About the National Videogame Museum

The NVM celebrates and interrogates videogame culture and allows the public to play most of its exhibits, which include nearly 100 games consoles, arcade machines and other interactive experiences, including games designed exclusively for the Museum. The Museum holds one of the UK’s largest collections of 5,000 videogame objects including arcade machines, technology, game memorabilia and ephemera. Formerly the National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham, the Museum has welcomed over 200,000 visitors, including hundreds of school visits, since it opened in 2016. The Museum presents a mixture of permanent and temporary exhibitions, some of which tour the UK. For more details about the NVM, please visit:


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