About the National Videogame Museum

Inspiring Videogames Experiences

A unique museum where you can play, explore and create videogames.

Dedicated to
Videogame Culture

Our challenge is to deliver a world-class cultural centre at the heart of an active, diverse and inclusive games community.

Celebrate & Challenge

Our charity exists to celebrate, study and challenge the culture of video games in all forms.

Educate & Inspire

We aim to educate and inspire the next generation of videogame players and makers.

Our Story

The world’s first cultural centre dedicated to videogames opened its doors in Nottingham in 2015. Within 3 years of opening, we had welcomed 100,000 visitors, won two TripAdvisor Awards, staged four original exhibitions and kicked off a games music festival. We created Pixelheads, an education programme for young people to talk about what games mean and how they are made. We have been recognised by Arts Council of England, Creative England, Creative Scotland, UK Young Artists, the British Library and many others as a leading proponent of videogame culture. We host games talks, conferences and events about games culture, production, education and diversity.

Meanwhile, in late 2016, Rick Gibson and Ian Livingstone proposed that the games sector needed a new agency for games culture, the BGI, mirroring the British Film Institute but for games. The campaign for the BGI was launched in early 2017 and quickly won support from over 550 games, arts, education and finance organisations. The BGI campaign was founded in late 2017, won its first funding in early 2018, and announced plans to merge with the National Videogame Foundation (which ran the National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham) in mid-2018, it became a charity in April 2019. The charity runs a range of educational programmes around games culture, research, production, skills and diversity. Find out more about the BGI’s story and its educational work.

See who governs the BGI.

In November 2018, we moved the National Videogame Arcade to Sheffield, renaming it the National Videogame Museum. 

In Summer 2019, the BGI became a registered charity: Charity Number 1183530. The NVM is currently in the process of full museum accreditation.

In January 2020 the BGI acquired the National Videogame Museum, its Collection, staff and assets from the National Videogame Foundation.

The charity launched the Videogame Heritage Society to share its unique expertise (published many times over many years by 2 of the Museum’s founders) with over 100 members including 20 museums and many individual collectors.

In March 2020, the NVM closed to the public because of the Coronavirus crisis. The charity’s directors decided to close voluntarily ahead of the enforced lockdown as a precautionary measure. Due to not receiving support from the UK Government, a successful crowdfunding campaign was launched that ran for 3 months and helped the charity navigate a >90% loss of income. The museum reopened in August 2020 after extensive changes to its operating model and exhibits, and dramatic reductions in capacity to respect social distancing. We wouldn’t have been able to reopen at this time if it wasn’t for the support of hundreds of generous donors, to whom we will be eternally grateful.

In mid-October 2020, the NVM won the Best Website Activity award at the National Kids In Museums Awards.

In late October 2020 the Museum had to close again, in light of a second and third National lockdown.

The Museum announced its second reopening date as May 21st 2021.

Trying to operate a Museum during the pandemic is extremely challenging. The Museum is not out of the woods but we remain optimistic in finding new institutional support for our unique work.

Support Us

Despite being a charity, we receive no core funding and rely on visitors, patrons and sponsors to keep the videogames plugged in.

If you would like to help the National Videogame Museum please consider supporting us.