Team

The BGI and the National Videogame Museum are operated by a small, deeply committed and passionate team that has battled through adversity to create an award-nominated museum.

We are deeply committed to inclusion and diversity, and when we recruit, we do so by strongly encouraging female and non-binary applicants, those from diverse backgrounds including black and minority ethnic communities, and people with disabilities to apply.

Meet the team

Alex Roberts, Curatorial and Technical

Alex is part of the curatorial and exhibition team at the NVM. They curate the galleries and produce original content for exhibitions. They are an avid programmer and maker of things. Alongside a rolling programme of games and interactive exhibits that make up the exhibitions, they have been a part of the curatorial team for five special exhibitions. Alex helped establish the London chapter of the Code Liberation Foundation, which fosters the creation of games and creative technologies by teaching and coaching women and non-binary people. They now sit on OpenUK’s museum committee, a not for profit organisation committed to develop and sustain UK leadership in Open Technology.

 

Allen Coombs, Production Consultant

Allen Coombs led the build of the the National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham and then the relocation, redesign and relaunch of the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield in 2018. Allen has overseen all exhibitions at both venues, which have attracted over 100,000 visitors since opening in 2016. Allen is a curator and educator with a 28 year track record. He has specialised in teaching difficult subjects to marginalised groups and previously he ran technical department and research units; produced motion graphics for TV and film; and practiced as an artist exhibiting in the UK, Europe and Japan.

 

Conor Clarke, Marketing and Communications

Conor Clarke runs the marketing and communications for the National Videogame Museum and parent charity, The BGI. Conor has a background in theatre, where he has performed as a part of his own theatre company Blasted Fiction, organised the annual Plymouth Fringe Festival, and once had a stint working as a Disney character. Alongside his work at the museum, Conor enjoys supporting the Sheffield Gaming community, and holds a weekly podcast along with members of the Sheffield games scene. In 2020 he was granted an honourable mention on the MCV 30 Under 30 awards and shared the award for Best Website activity from Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museums Award 2020 with Leah Dungay.

 

Hannah Byran, Director of Visitor Experience

Hannah has worked in the Museums and Heritage sector for over 10 years, in independent museums and galleries and with National Trust and English Heritage. She specialises in exemplary visitor experience, using data-driven decision making to create memorable visitor offers. Having launched new galleries and a visitor centre alongside other projects, her passion for museums come from engaging different audiences and developing relevant offers. Hannah holds an Associateship of the Museums Association (MA) and is currently one of the MA Representatives for the North of England.

 

Iain Simons, Director of Culture

Iain Simons makes, writes and talks about videogames and culture across many different popular and specialist media. He has written or co-written numerous books & papers and regularly contributes to conferences and events around the world. In 2005 he instigated and curated the first videogame festival at London’s SouthBank Centre, which led to the creation of GameCity, the pioneering arts festival he founded in Nottingham in 2006. In 2008, this project led to co-founding the first National Videogame Archive, with the National Media Museum. In 2015 he co-founded the National Videogame Arcade, the acclaimed cultural centre for games, which following a merger with the BGI relaunched in Sheffield as the National Videogame Museum. He has worked as a creative consultant with many organisations including the BBC, ArtsDepot, British Film Institute, FoxNext, Barbican Centre, NHS and sits on the heritage advisory board of BAFTA.

James Newman, Head of Research

James Newman PhD is Research Professor at Bath Spa University and a researcher and curator at the NVM, working across our research, exhibition and education programmes.  Over the past 20 years, he has written widely on aspects of videogames, players and fans, and media histories delivering talks across the world. Most recently, he co-authored A History of Videogames (Carlton, 2018) with Iain Simons. James was the co-founder of the National Videogame Archive, is the co-founder of the Game Sound Archive in collaboration with the British Library, and is the director of the All Your Bass videogame music festival.

 

Joe Dickens, Creative Engineer

Joe Dickens is Creative Engineer at the National Videogame Museum where he creates exhibitions and events. Joe is an event and venue manager, educator, designer, comedian and games developer. Joe created the videogame comedy crossover show ‘Gamer, Gamer’, which led to a regular program of local videogames events, educational shows and talks at Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies. Joe has worked with a number of regional organisations to develop a strong gaming community, in 2017 as part of a team he won and award at Hack24 – a twenty-four hour coding challenge. He is also an avid collector and researcher of rare and unusual videogames ephemera, arcade machines, and peripherals with an interest in preservation and restoration of gaming hardware collections.

Kitty Turner, Acting Venue Manager and crew supervisor

Kitty Turner is the Acting Venue Manager at the National Videogame Museum where she leads the front-of-house team. Kitty’s experience ranges from Youth Worker to Media Coordinator to Events Organiser to Hospitality, among others, allowing her to bring a range of skills to her role. Kitty has spent the last 10 years connecting with the gaming community through various events and continues to run gaming-related events in her spare time.

 

 

Leah Dungay, Learning Officer

Leah Dungay is the Learning Officer at the National Videogame Museum. She is an experienced museum educator and outreach professional specialising in STEM, history and performance. Over the last few years, she has devised, produced and facilitated informal and formal learning programmes at the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds. This includes their major outreach project, The Emergency Museum, which took her across Yorkshire in a museum built inside a retired ambulance. Leah shared the award for Best Website activity from Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museums Award 2020 with Conor Clarke.

 

Lizzie Peters, Finance Officer

 

Lizzie is an accountant with 15 years’ experience working in the public sector. She brings an in-depth knowledge of finance systems from the smallest transactions to over-arching forecasting, annual reports and more recently Charity Commission submissions. She uses these skills to ensure quality reporting and financial compliance across the BGI. When not working for the BGI she runs her own costume-making business making her a true “creative accountant”.

 

Rick Gibson, CEO

A games strategist for 20 years, Rick founded 2 pan-industry campaigns: Games Up?, which successfully campaigned for the introduction of Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) and the British Games Institute campaign, which won the support of over 560 orgainsations and recently became the charity the BGI. Rick has long campaigned for government recognition of and support for the games industry’s cultural and economic impact. Rick was the first to call for VGTR in 2006, produced the first census of the UK games sector in 2007 and generated the first economic impact data for the games sector in 2008. As co-founder and director of Games Investment Consulting, Rick has advised over 100 games, media and finance companies on games strategy.