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Saving the National Videogame Museum

Since it was established in 2018, the National Videogame Museum (NVM) has been home to an extensive and historic collection of gaming memorabilia. It’s also an interactive museum where people can play retro, decades-old videogames like Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Much like many other museums around the world, the NVM has been hit hard by the mandated lockdowns due to the pandemic. However, as the NVM is the only facility of its kind in Europe, it has also attracted its fair share of support.

The National Videogame Museum Could Reopen in May 2021

A week after the NVM had to close its doors in mid-March of 2020, the British Games Institute which owns and operates the museum appealed to the local community for support. This started its now successful fundraiser which was supported by both the public as well as global videogame companies like Rockstar Games, Fusebox, and the THQ Nordic/Embracer Group.

Thanks to the outpouring of support, the gaming community managed to raise £200,000 to keep the NVM alive and kicking. This is good news for the city’s socially-starved gamers in lockdown. “There’s a real social aspect, particularly when you come into the museum. Our multiplayer games allow up to eight players. Seeing random people sitting down, bonding, having a laugh, having so much fun, is one of the great parts of what videogames do, it brings people together.” said NVM communications manager Conor Clarke in an interview with The Star. Following the government’s announcements that museums and galleries could be allowed to reopen by May 17, 2021, the future certainly looks bright for the NVM.

The Home of Unique Interactive Exhibits

Dedicated to the cultural preservation of videogames, the NVM is where you’ll find some of the most unique exhibits in the world. For instance, on its website, the NVM explains the rationale behind its unique Platform 14: Donkey Kong exhibit. As an iconic game, Donkey Kong has spawned multiple iterations on various platforms. This makes it the perfect game to spearhead the first in a series of exhibits dedicated to examining the variations between different versions of the same game.

From the first official Nintendo game to its latter versions on different home computers, handheld devices, and consoles, Donkey Kong has certainly made its mark on modern gaming culture. In a feature on some of the most influential games in history, Foxy Games details how Donkey Kong which was released in 1981 has even been reincarnated as an online slot called King Kong Cash. While other old school games like Street Fighter and Star Raiders have inspired online slots as well, only Donkey Kong has been ported this much into so many different platforms. This explains why it’s the perfect way to launch the NVM’s Platform 14 series, which is also just one of the museum’s many different attractions.

If you want to relive arcade games like Gunblade, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, and Ms Pacman, there’s the arcade section. Meanwhile, in a section called Playthings, you can take a closer look at almost 300 rarities from the gaming world, including the Lemmings Adventure Gamebook, an N64 Gold Controller, and the ancient Magnavox Odyssey console.

It’s no wonder Sheffield and the gaming community as a whole scrambled to keep the NVM open. And if things go according to plan, soon enough, you might even be able to visit these exhibits yourself.