A cultural centre revolving around video games is opening up in Nottingham, UK in March 2015, it has been announced.
The National Video Game Arcade will be the first cultural centre for games in the world. The center will be part of the British Film Institute, and will offer a dedicated space for research, education and public presentations/programmes revolving around video games to the general public. The facility will supposedly spread across an impressive 33 000 square feet and have 5 different floors: 4 for gallery purposes, 1 dedicated to education, and a permanent exhibition drawn from the collection at the National Video Games Archive. It’s the first center of its kind in the UK, and has few international rivals. It’s hoped that by educating the public about the merits of the medium, and by recognizing the rich culture and history that has developed around video games over the last 50 years, the Center will help to cement video games into the UK’s wider cultural heritage.
The project has a budget of £2.5m, and has support from Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham City Council, the Nottingham Technology Grant Fund, as well as the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies – that’s a pretty impressive line up of backers.
The announcement was made during the annual GameCity festival, which runs for a week and draws developers from across the world in an effort to share ideas, discuss their work and talk about ideas and concepts.
“For the first time ever, a civic, cultural and academic space will be dedicated to the public’s relationship with videogames.” said Iain Simmons, director of the GameCity festival.
“For the millions of people who love them, it’s only natural that video games 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. It’s fantastic news that GameCity are pioneering this vital and much needed new space.” added Ian Livingstone, a veteran of the British games industry and an advisor for GameCity.
We were at the festival, and we’ll have some coverage resulting from our trip over the coming days and weeks.