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:


BGI’s Curator at Large Iain Simons talks to Wireframe Magazine about videogame perservation


This piece is reproduced from Wireframe. Full article here.

Recently, Iain Simons spoke to Wireframe Magazine about The BGI and the National Videogame Museum’s efforts to preserve gaming history, via our Videogame Heritage Society.

Since 1662, a copy of every published book has been deposited at the British Library. It’s a legal requirement that preserves the works of authors for future generations, and Iain Simons would be happy if there were a similar system created for video games.

“There’s no systemic, structured way for games to be preserved – none at all,” laments the co-founder and creative director of the National Videogame Museum (NVM) in Sheffield. “Unlike books, there’s no legal deposit, so I could release a game today and no official structure would ever know about it.”

This isn’t a unique situation. There’s no legal requirement for movie-makers to deposit their films nor musicians to hand over a copy of their every composition. Still, many people interested in video games are still keen to retain as much of its past as possible. “This magazine will be lodged with the British Library and my words during this interview will probably survive longer than the things I’m talking about,” Simons continues. Yet rather than call for a single vault of software and hardware, he and others believe the answer may lie elsewhere.

Step forward, then, the Videogame Heritage Society, or VHS for short. Led by the NVM, it aims to bring together organisations and private collectors involved in preservation to discuss the best way forward.

“No one can collect everything,” says Simons. “It just doesn’t make sense for the NVM, or frankly any museum, to put its arms around huge amounts of items and put it all in one place. Today, there are towns and cities across the UK which have museums, exhibitions, and collections of their own heritage that plot individual local stories. So the answer perhaps lies in a national collection that’s shared across a bunch of institutions rather than one trying to get everything, and what we’re now starting to think about is how we might coordinate a distributed collection.”

Iain Simons, co-founder and creative director at the National Videogame Museum, worries that we’re still in danger of losing gaming’s link to the past.Iain Simons, co-founder and creative director at the National Videogame Museum, worries that we’re still in danger of losing gaming’s link to the past.

Manic rush

In many ways, this is a different approach from one Simons pursued in the past – primarily with the National Videogame Archive (NVA), which he helped spearhead in 2008…

Many thanks to Wireframe Magazine for featuring the Videogame Heritage Society in their November issue. Read the full article here.

BGI joins ScreenSkills to discuss games careers in Leamington Spa

Watch BGI CEO Rick Gibson and BGI Trustee Marcia Deakin from NextGen Skills Academy at a ScreenSkills masterclass in Leamington Spa. The session on Pathways into the Games industry: Jobs, skills and CVs included Kathleen Brice from Codemasters, Marcia Deakin from NextGen, Chris McCarthy from Third Kind Games and Chris Sayers from Mediatonic.  The panel shared their own career journeys and gave advice and tips on CV’s, approaching employers and what to put in a portfolio.

You can watch other sessions on games careers here.

BGI launches GameCity Adventures festival in Sheffield

GameCity Adventures is a free, outdoor pop-up Adventure Trail happening 23-24 October in Sheffield City Centre.

On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th October, BGI is hosting a range of family-friendly games and activities in museums, public spaces, cafes and independent retailers across the City, including the BGI’s National Videogame Museum. The festival is an accessible experience for visitors to move through the City Centre discovering new experiences to play in different venues and locations. Players will collect a ‘play pack’ from a mix of outdoor central locations and indoor venues, which encourages them to visit and search specific areas and then play a variety of activities.

There will be over a dozen individual game sites, each with a different activity ranging from accessible analogue games, collection of clues to physical games. Some activities are self-led while others will be facilitated by volunteers or National Videogame Museum crew. Each play/visit earns a stamp which will be redeemable at the end for goods or discounts at the Museum and our partner venues.

In order to take part in the festival, players are asked to sign up on Eventbrite and access details on how to get started with the festival, including where they can pick up their free game map and play pack during the weekend.

This event is supported by the Sheffield City Council as a part of the Economy Recovery Fund.

BGI announces new Chair and President

The BGI’s trustees have voted to change the make-up of the charity’s Board of Trustees.







Claire Boissiere has been appointed Chair of the BGI, after serving as Vice Chair for the last 2 years. Claire is Studio Manager at Jumpship, an independent game studio based in Guildford, UK.







Ian Livingstone CBE has been appointed the new President of the charity, after serving as Chair since the charity’s foundation in 2019.

Ian said: “It has been an honour serving as Chair. Passing the Chairship to Claire Boissiere is an important next step as the charity moves forward with its mission to empower all people to play, learn and connect through our National Videogame Museum, our collections and the public and educational programmes we offer. Claire has shown outstanding commitment and diligence in helping to found the charity and manage the Trustees day to day. I’m confident that she will guide us into a bright future.”

Claire Boissiere said “It’s been a pleasure working as Vice Chair alongside Ian Livingstone and the team whilst founding the BGI and I’m excited to be appointed Chair as the charity moves forward into a new chapter. Along with many other charities and museums, we’ve been severely affected by Covid-19 and the restrictions needed to ensure our loved ones stayed protected. But through the dedication and perseverance of our team, the generosity of our games industry patrons and public funding from the Arts Council England, we are now in a position to plan ahead. It’s this amazing commitment and support for games’ heritage, culture and education that excites me, and motivates us as a team to take on the upcoming challenges that we all still face. I see this as an opportunity to re-assess the needs of our various audiences and to tailor our future offerings so they remain relevant in a post covid world and to ensure everything we do is inclusive to all. I look forward to sharing more of our plans in the near future.”

Why attend the Games Education Summit?

Watch this video to find out what GamesEd21 is all about.

Eventbrite - Games Education Summit 2020

Wednesday 31st March to Thursday 1st April 2021
Virtual Summit

  • Ready, Player… Learn – The future of learning in a post-Covid world
  • Discover state of the art games industry recruitment and education best practice
  • Hear students, interns and developers share their pathways towards careers in games

Find out who is speaking


BGI has revealed a strong slate of new speakers from leading games and educational organisations to speak at the virtual summit on Wednesday March 31st and Thursday April 1st. BGI has also unveiled student tickets and a raft of diverse young speakers who will talk about their pathways towards games careers.

Full schedule is available here

Speakers include course leaders from the likes of Staffordshire, Bolton, Abertay and Norwich Universities, plus Priestley College, while organisations including Limit Break, Into Games, Out Playing Games, BAME In Games, Next Gen Skills Academy, AIM and Grads In Games will also be provide their unique insights.

In addition, the speaker line-up includes representatives from Aardvark Swift, Amiqus, Codemasters, Playground Games, Creative Assembly, Sumo-Digital, D3T, Fabrik Games, Payload Studios and more.

The Summit is sponsored by Unity, Unreal Engine and Aardvark Swift. 

New sessions on day two will include a session on mentorship with current mentors and mentees from Limit Break and Into Games talking about how schemes are helping diverse young people forge their careers in games. Another new session will see recent hires into games development talk about their journeys into the industry. BGI has opened up a low-cost ticket option for students, to give them the opportunity to hear peers talk.

BGI has also announced keynotes from Aurore Dimopoulos from Unity and Simon Nelson, founder and former CEO of the groundbreaking online platform FutureLearn.

Elsewhere, the Summit will look at how recruitment has changed for studios during the pandemic, including top tips from studios who have hired record-breaking numbers of staff over the past 12 months, despite the challenges of Covid. And a new session on C++, moderated by Dr Jake Habgood of Sumo Digital, will feature top industry coders.

GamesEd will end with a report on Games Careers Week, which is winning scores of partners from across the games development and education sectors, and aims to trigger long term change in the way the British public perceive games careers. BGI, Into Games and Grads in Games will report back on the inaugural festival, sharing its impact, reach and examples of events hosted by scores of organisations.

Get your early bird tickets to GamesEd21 at Eventbrite.

Notes to Editors

For more information on the Games Education Summit, contact Lisa Carter at and follow @thebgi on Twitter.

About the BGI

The BGI, charity number 1183530, educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames through the National Videogame Museum, online training and other educational programmes such as Games Careers Week. For more details about the BGI, please visit:


First 20 Games Careers Week events announced


Partner numbers approach 100

Thurs 11th Feb 2021: Games Careers Week, the free online festival for inspiring people from every background to discover prospects in one of the UK’s most exciting careers, has announced its initial lineup for the year.

Over 20 events from Grads in Games, BGI / National Videogame Museum, Into Games, Ukie, Women in Games and Tranzfuser have been scheduled between 26 March and 2nd April 2021.

Games Careers Week is packed with events aimed at reaching millions of parents, learners, teachers and job-seekers. Designed to inspire and inform diverse people about career opportunities available within the games industry, the week will showcase scores of online events for all ages and levels of expertise.

Games Careers Week is organised and funded by the charity the BGI and nonprofits Grads in Games and Into Games. The week is trying to tackle low awareness of games career opportunities in the British public, especially amongst diverse groups, and low diversity in the UK games workforce through a pan-industry public education campaign.

You can read all about BGI’s involvement and funding of Games Careers Week here.

The first events are detailed below, with nearly 100 organisations interested in hosting careers events during the festival.

Key events for Games Careers Week 2021

Games Careers Exhibition at the National Videogame Museum [March 26th onwards]: An online careers exhibition for families in which children ask games developers about games careers and educational choices.

Ukie Student Conference [March 26th]: Ukie’s huge event for college and university students returns with a packed programme of talks, keynotes, and Q&As from games developers and educators.

Into Games Portfolio Pitstop [March 27th]: A day of free, essential portfolio advice and tips from dozens of industry professionals for any learner posting their games portfolio on Twitter with the hashtag #portfoliopitstop.

Career Talks at the National Videogame Museum [March 27th onwards]: Livestreams by new Sumo Digital developers for young people and parents to ask questions about how to start games careers.

The Grads In Games Student Conference [March 29th]: A day of speakers from leading studios talking to students about the work they do and what life at a games studio is really like. Includes panels featuring recent grads on how they got their first games job, and a live masterclass session where you can create a perfect CV for applying to games industry roles.

Grads In Games Education Fair [March 30th]: Dozens of universities that offer game development courses will be congregating at our education fair ready to talk with FE, A-Level, and GCSE students about the courses they have to offer. Careers Week Features [all week]: A series of careers week content, interviews and discussions will run online during the week.

Grads In Games Career Connector [March 30th]: A new format of online careers fair for the games industry, providing opportunities for studio professionals to be skills-matched with students for private meetings.

Women in Games Career Pathways [all week]: Developers from Women in Games’ pioneering ambassador programme will share their career pathways in a series of online talks for young adults.

Games Education Summit March [31st March to 1st April]: 30 speakers from top studios and games universities gather to share state of the art tips and hear students, mentees, and recent hires reveal their career pathways.

The Grads In Games Awards 2021 [March 31st]: Recognising the people, studios, and educators that have made a real impact in improving the links between the games industry and education, the GiG Awards celebrates the valuable work of those behind the scenes of games education and employability.

Tranzfuser Career talks [all week]: Tranzfuser are hosting a series of live chats for university students focusing on bolstering career paths into professional video game development.

Into Games Champion Sessions [all week]: Into Games’ 12 industry champions, each a diverse representative of their discipline (art, programming, QA, etc) will be running talks and events throughout GCW.

Digital Schoolhouse Games Careers Lesson Pack [all week]: A videogames careers lesson pack in partnership with Into Games bursting with expertise and insightful support for schools including a database of 50 One Minute Mentor careers videos, lesson plans and assembly scripts.

Search For A Star & d3t Rising Star 2021, Winners Announcement [April 1st]: Check out the future stars of the games industry as we announce the winners of this year’s student game dev challenges across programming, art, animation and VFX.

Studios, publishers, educators and members of the industry can get involved by registering at

About Games Careers Week

Games Careers Week is a non-profit event organised and funded by the BGI, Into Games and Grads in Games, supported by TIGA, NextGen Skills Academy, and Ukie

About the BGI / National Videogame Museum
The NVM is operated by the BGI, charity number 1183530, which educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames through the museum, training and other educational programmes such as the Games Education Summit. For more details about the BGI, please visit:

About Into Games
Into Games is a non-profit Community Interest Company that supports people in finding rewarding careers in the games sector. Our projects connect education and industry while providing guidance for learners from primary school all the way into work. For more information visit:

About Grads in Games
Grads in Games is run by a non-profit Community Interest Company which helps graduates make the leap from student to professional in the games industry. It does this through a comprehensive program of events, activities and initiatives which equip students with the skills employers need. For more information about our initiatives such as Search for a Star and Get in the Game visit:




The Games Education Summit returns for 2021 as a virtual event, taking place on Wednesday March 31st and Thursday April 1st.

Speakers, including leaders from Unity, Playground Games, Fabrik Games, Aardvark Swift, AIM Group, Bolton University, Amiqus, BAME in Games, G Into Games, NextGen Skills Academy, Payload Studios, Nord Anglia Education and Sumo Digital, will share innovative solutions for teaching and nurturing talent, as well as providing advice on supporting students from diverse backgrounds into their careers in games.

Running during Games Careers Week, the virtual event will feature collaborative sessions for studios and educators to engage on games industry education and recruitment issues in the middle of the pandemic.

Covid has caused massive upheaval in education while recruiters have faced challenges in hiring and onboarding the finest new talent to maintain the games industry’s headlong growth.

With Brexit and new immigration rules, it’s never been more important for the UK games industry to nurture home-grown future talent.

The Games Education Summit will tackle these key issues – and more – during a two-day event uniquely curated for games studios, educators and recruiters.

Day 1 will focus on best practice, with innovators and leaders in games companies and education sharing how they’ve successfully adapted their programmes to work during the pandemic. On Day 2 students, interns and young developers will deliver valuable insights into their pathways towards careers in games.

Topics and themes covered will include:

  • Ready, Player… Learn – The future of learning in a post-Covid world
  • Diversity: How games studios and educators are changing the profile of the workforce
  • State of the art games recruitment: How studios have worked with educators to identify and hire new talent during the pandemic
  • Covid course curation: Further & Higher educators at the cutting edge share their tips and tricks
  • Pathways to games in a pandemic: New hires into games studios share how they transitioned into their jobs
  • The new Apprenticeships and Internships
  • ‘My Student Journey’ – Students feedback on their own experiences

“Education and business have faced the most challenging period in history over the past 10 months,” said Rick Gibson, CEO of the BGI, which hosts the Games Education Summit.

“The games industry has experienced record growth during the pandemic, but it’s not plain sailing. We’re all under pressure from lockdown, hiring from the global talent pool is harder after Brexit and the recruitment and onboarding of new staff has been a challenge for our rapidly growing industry. Education has been significantly affected with further education and universities experiencing huge disruptions from stop/start in-class teaching and the return of home learning for students of all ages. The Games Education Summit brings together influential studios, recruiters and educators to discuss how we nurture the UK’s future games talent.”

Get your tickets to GamesEd21 at Eventbrite.

Notes to Editors

For more information on the Games Education Summit, contact Conor Clarke at and follow @thebgi on Twitter.

About the BGI

The BGI, charity number 1183530, educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames through the National Videogame Museum, online training and other educational programmes such as Games Careers Week. For more details about the BGI, please visit: