Toikido becomes a patron of the National Videogame Museum

Toikido has supported the National Videogame Museum by becoming a patron. Toikido is a London-based entertainment company that sells millions of toys in over 1oo countries, including merchandise from fellow NVM patrons Playstation (Among Us) and Sheffield-based Boneloaf (Gang Beasts).

Darran Garnham, CEO of Toikido said: “I am super proud to support. As a dad of 3 boys, this is an important cause to champion for young people”.

NVM/BGI CEO Rick Gibson: “We are so grateful to Darran and the team for their support of the museum. The charity would not be here without the support of companies like Toikido to help us through the pandemic to brighter days”.

Toikido joins a list of industry companies and leaders which includes Sir Ian Livingstone, Carl Cavers, Andy Payne OBE, Rockstar, Rebellion and Sega Europe amongst others.


BGI mourns the death of Ian Hetherington

The charity received the sad news that our Advisory Board member Ian Hetherington had passed away.

One of the founding fathers of the British videogames industry, Ian helped countless people, companies and our own charity with a wisdom and generosity borne of a long and illustrious career in videogames over 40 years.

CEO Rick Gibson wrote “Ian was a colleague, friend and mentor who had a unique mix of creativity and commercial acumen. His track record of success and drive is remarkable and his influence on the sector, its technology and growth is profound and indelible. I have worked with him on several projects over the years and he will be deeply missed. On behalf of the charity, I’d like to pass on our condolences to his family.”

You can read a short obituary to Ian on

Games Education Summit 2022


Educators, games studios and young games developers will gather in Sheffield and online on 21-22 April 2022 to discuss the most topical subjects in games education – including remote working, mental health and those skills which recruiters are currently finding tricky to find.

The Games Education Summit is an annual conference that gives games educators and developers a forum to discuss the biggest issues in games, meet colleagues in workshops, and hear from learners and young developers about how to unlock their pathways into games.

Speakers at GamesEd22 include Amiqus, Safe in our World, Sheffield Hallam University, Bournemouth and Portsmouth Universities, Aardvark Swift, Playground Games, Grads in Games, Cloud Imperium, Women in Games, Ukie, Next Gen Skills Academy, Sumo Digital and TIGA. More speakers will be announced in early 2022.

Day One will focus on challenges, best practice and innovative solutions of games companies,  universities and colleges including remote working, four-day working weeks, and pastoral care of students and staff. It will investigate the skills games companies are struggling to recruit from educational institutions, and ask how industry can help educators train talent to be ready for the workplace.

Day Two will bring in diverse young developers and students to discuss their experiences of education, recruitment and early games careers.

Delegates attending in person will be able to join workshops, networking events and an awards show at the National Videogame Museum, or stream keynotes and panel sessions online.

“We’re delighted to be bringing the Games Education Summit back as a live event in April at Sheffield Hallam University, as well as welcoming delegates virtually too,” said Rick Gibson, CEO of the BGI, which organises the event.

“Educators consistently report that they have changed universities’ curricula as a result of discussions at previous GamesEd Summits. At the same time, we know that studios find it invaluable to be able to network and collaborate with educators at the event. We look forward to once again setting the agenda at GamesEd Summit 2022.”

Get your early bird tickets to GamesEd22 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 is a national voice for videogame culture, heritage and education which empowers people from all backgrounds, especially women, BAME, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds, to:

  • Play through accessible and creative experiences that engage and inspire
  • Collaborate through inclusive communities, research, discussions and teamwork
  • Learn through informal, formal and vocational learning

Our charity celebrates and interrogates games culture for everyone through the National Videogame Museum, our Collection, our research into games preservation and our festivals such as GameCity. We run award-winning formal and informal learning programmes such as Pixelheads in person and online for schools and families. We run vocational courses and the Games Education Summit and we co-founded and organise the Games Careers Week Festival for young people, their parents and educators. For more details about the BGI’s mission and programmes, please visit:



BGI launches Christmas appeal with new strategy

National Videogame Museum announces Christmas appeal with BGI’s new strategy to transform lives with games

Sheffield, 0900 23/11/21: The charity that runs the National Videogame Museum has launched a Christmas appeal to help families from deprived communities visit the museum, and announced its new strategy to promote the social impact of videogames.

The appeal, fronted by Claire Boissiere and Ian Livingstone CBE, aims to bring hundreds of children from the most deprived neighbourhoods of Sheffield and the surrounding region into the Museum. The appeal is raising funds to support the museum to give free visits for disadvantaged families to play games and learn how they’re made.

The charity’s new mission – transforming lives with games – reflects a raft of social programmes BGI has launched this year serving disadvantaged communities. They include Biome working with Sheffield’s refugee communities to create games art about their folklore; an online National Videogame Gallery to celebrate the art and animation of diverse games developers; an LGBTQ+ young producers club; a 2 year programme to train teachers from schools in deprived areas how to use games in the classroom; and a programme to train women and LGBTQ+ people of colour how to make games using Crayta. The National Videogame Museum is also part of this month’s BBC Children in Need campaign and is one of the co-founders of Games Careers Week, a public education campaign which encourages diverse candidates to consider games careers that reached nearly 40,000 people this year.

Claire Boissiere, the BGI’s Chair, said: “Videogames are performing a new role in society, giving skills, connections and enjoyment to people isolated and set back by the pandemic. The National Videogame Museum and our multi award winning programmes work with vulnerable communities to harness the unique power of videogames. We inspire, teach and open doors to new opportunities for everyone, no matter their background. Whether through play, community, learning, careers or games culture, our charity’s bold new mission is to transform lives with games.”

Rick Gibson, the charity’s CEO, said “During the pandemic, with amazing support from games companies, we refocused our programmes to help disadvantaged and under-represented people, working with the Arts Council, Children in Need, Esmee Fairbairn Trust, English Heritage and Ufi VocTech on multiple ambitious social programmes. The National Videogame Museum is the only UK museum dedicated to celebrating and interpreting videogames, investigating why they matter, and preserving our sector’s precious heritage for future generations. This Christmas we hope you will join our amazing games sector patrons to support our work with disadvantaged children.”

The NVM’s Christmas appeal can be found at

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 recruits for 3 new roles, including Creative Director of the National Videogame Museum

The charity is hiring 3 new roles

  • Creative Director, The NVM [NOW FILLED]
  • Vocational Learning Manager, The BGI [NOW FILLED]
  • Workshop Facilitator, Next Level Programme [NOW CLOSED]

BGI is hiring an experienced curator with a track record of delivering exhibitions with significant digital components to be its new Creative Director. They will drive the creative vision for the Curatorial, Collections and Learning Programme at the National Videogame Museum as well as other BGI projects and festivals. They will define the Museum’s exhibition programme, complete museum accreditation and report directly to the CEO.

BGI is also seeking an experienced training manager to become our new Vocational Learning Manager. In this exciting new part-time role reporting directly to the CEO you will be responsible for supporting and growing our vocational learning programme, with a focus on the Ufi-funded Next Level programme.

BGI wants to recruit an experienced games (or similar software) developer to facilitate a workshop programme for BAME females and non-binary people in Sheffield. The facilitator will help develop the programme in 2021, then deliver and evaluate a series of 36 workshops through 2022.

Information on how to apply and application deadlines for all three roles is available here.

Working at the BGI

We’re a growing, committed and diverse team working to create an innovative programme including our museum, multiple events and festivals, our award-winning learning programme and our new Vocational programme. We craft fun and educational experiences that change our different communities’ lives. We’re passionate about our art form but knowledge of videogames is not essential.  We’re committed to creating a diverse and flexible working environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, disability, gender or sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief. We can provide materials in alternate formats on request. Our offices are wheelchair accessible.