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Videogame Nation

14 May to 19 September 2009

Looking back over four decades, this exhibition chartered the meteoric rise of videogaming – from the geek-tastic realm of the bedroom programmer to the multi-billion pound industry it is today. The exhibition looked at consoles, featuring  the British-made ZX Spectrum and the Nintendo DSi, and the 80s arcade console and had plenty of games for customers to play (Jet Set Willy, Manic Miner and Sensible World of Soccer were amongst the favourites of some of our older visitors, not to mention Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider and Lego Indiana Jones!)

Manchester’s role in the gaming industry was also considered with cabinets dedicated to Ocean, once one of the city’s biggest software developers, as well as the cultural side of gaming and how graphics and music soundtracks are blurring the boundaries between serious art and popular culture.

Videogame Nation Reviewed on top culture blog Creative Tourist here

Videogame Nation on video

on Granada Reports


Urbis also ran a series of events for Videogame Nation. Listen to the Oliver twins discuss their creation Dizzy below…

Getting Dizzy with the Oliver Twins

Media Release

Videogame Nation.pdf – click here to download Videogame Nation’s media release

Customer Comments

“It’s good. I played on games that I hadn’t played before, ones that were made before I was born. That was the best bit about the exhibition”

– Paulio age 13, b.1995

“I attended the opening night of ‘Video Game Nation’ and really enjoyed it. It was like visiting a museum, gallery and an arcade all rolled into one, so congratulations on a great show”

– Martin Mir, Introversion

“I would like to congratulate you on your videogame exhibition, which is truly fantastic. I am glad to finally see this important part of our culture exhibited in a reputable museum”

– Silvia Farrero

Press Comments

“One for the tech-head kids. Manchester’s magnificent Urbis provides the perfect arena for this attempt to afford British videogaming some proper cultural credibility without spoiling its street-level urban spark”

– Robert Clark, The Guardian

“It’s one of Urbis’ most commendable, well sourced and publicly pleasing exhibitions to date, get yourselves down there”

– Lynda Moyo, Manchester Confidential

“Playful but intelligent, walled but inclusive, it completely encapsulates what makes games such fascinating things in the first place. I haven’t seen an event bring people together this magically for a long time, that it would be a collection of videogames to do this is simply marvellous.”

– Lewis Denby, Gamasutra

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