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UK to open interactive national videogame museum in 2015

A videogame museum is opening in Britain that hopes to be the "hub for videogame culture."

The National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham will display a selection of highlights from the National Videogame Archive, a collection of 20,000 objects owned by the Science Museum.

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The project, which aims to open in March 2015, will cost £2.5 million and already has the backing of British gaming icon Ian Livingstone.

"For the millions of people who love them, it's only natural that videogames should have their own permanent, cultural home – just as fine art enjoys the National Gallery, performance has the National Theatre, and film and music have many permanent spaces that celebrate them," he said.

The arcade will also be home to themed exhibitions, educational programmes and specially commissioned works centred around video games.

Ian Simons, director at GameCity and one of the key figures behind the project, added that it was important non-gamers visited the exhibition, particularly parents worried that gaming will turn their children into "sociopaths."

"Gaming is the fastest-growing cultural industry in the world but it's often seen as something a bit trivial," he said.

"We very carefully chose the word 'Arcade' rather than 'Museum' because we believe passionately that games are more interesting when they have people playing them. Games are only really alive when they are played. We want this to be a place where everybody can come."

Nottingham was chosen, not only because of its central location, but also because it hosts an annual gaming festival called GameCity.

Mr Simons also confirmed that there would be a charge for some of the temporary exhibitions, but other elements of the arcade would be free.

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The US is also set to open a videogame museum of its own in April next year in Frisco, Texas.

Image Credit: National Videogame Archive