Significant Milestone as The National Videogame Museum turns 5

The National Videogame Museum is celebrating five years since its Sheffield launch with a day of celebrations.

Everyone visiting on the fifth anniversary, Friday 24th of November 2023, can book discounted tickets and experience a celebration of the history and culture of videogames, with over 100 interactive exhibits and hands-on creative activities from their award winning Learning Team.

The Museum’s anniversary year has been its busiest to date, welcoming over 50,000 visitors to the Castle House venue (of which 70% are from outside of the city region) and establishing the NVM as a unique Sheffield attraction. The museum exists to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret videogames for everyone and like many cultural organisations it survived the pandemic through support from the Arts Council England Culture Recovery Fund, plus support from patrons in the videogame industry and a community fundraiser

Under the new joint CEO leadership of Creative Director, John O’Shea, and Director of Visitor Experience, Cat Powell, the last year has seen a refocus on the Museum’s ambition to expand its work with diverse and underrepresented communities; reflect on the relevance of videogames
across society, and advocate for greater access to careers in the videogame industry.

At the half decade mark, the Museum is reflecting on achievements with its community, and looking forward to the future, as a success story for Sheffield.

The Museum is dedicated to transforming lives with videogames: Initiatives during 2023 have ranged from pop up exhibitions around South Yorkshire, to exploring stories of sanctuary-seeking communities through the art of game making; and creating a fair for celebrating careers in videogames.

The NVM is now working towards Museum Accreditation – Arts Council England’s National benchmark for museum standards – a process which sees its expert team cataloguing over 5,000 videogame objects and cultural artefacts. The vital work aims to establish the Museum as the leading organisation for videogame culture – and builds the foundations for researchers, publishers, games developers, and the public to engage with this unique collection in new and exciting ways.

Sir Ian Livingstone, President, BGI Board of Trustees, said, “Videogames are an integral part of the UK’s cultural heritage, and the 5th anniversary of The National Videogame Museum in Sheffield is a significant milestone. Looking to the future, there is great potential to build on this foundation regionally and nationally, to emphasise Sheffield as a contemporary powerhouse for videogame development, and to communicate the full social, cultural, economic and educational impact of the videogames industry through the work of the museum.”

John O’Shea and Cat Powell, Co-CEOs of The National Videogame Museum said, “It’s a privilege to lead the Museum at such an exciting juncture in its development. Digital culture, including videogames, plays such an important role in all of our lives now. As the UK’s only museum dedicated to videogames, we want the museum to continue to grow, and to educate, inspire and engage the widest possible audience over the next five years and beyond.”

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