The UK’s first permanent video game museum launched in Nottingham in 2015, attracting more than 100,000 visitors within two years and winning several awards. I had always planned on paying a visit, but it relocated before I got the chance. Thankfully, its new location is my home city of Sheffield, so I was able to experience it over the weekend without travelling too far!
The museum is a ~15 minute walk from Sheffield train station and is fairly easy to find using Google Maps or similar. Trams and buses also stop nearby, so you shouldn’t have much trouble getting there.
The entry price is also very reasonable – £11 for adults and £9 for children, students and the disabled. If you book a ticket online the day before your trip, you even get a 50p discount – but do keep in mind the museum is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!
Anyhow, lets get onto what I thought of the museum… Firstly, the process of purchasing a ticket and getting into the museum was very easy and the staff were nice and friendly.
As I entered, I noticed most of the other visitors were mashing buttons on the extensive range of arcade machines, featuring everything from Donkey Kong to Sailor Moon. It was very busy so I decided to have a look round the various display cases first.
The first one I saw featured a variety knitted puppets, from the Dragon Quest slime to Mario, and they were all pretty cute. Just a few feet away was another case that any fighting game fanatic would cherish, featuring everything Street Fighter, from the second game on SNES to the UK VHS release of the 1994 anime film!
Speaking of anime, there was a fair bit that may interest all you otaku out there, including a boxed Casio Loopy – the 1995 console targeted completely at female gamers that never made it outside of Japan.
There was a variety of games set up for anyone to play across several generations of consoles, from NES classics to upcoming indie titles on PC. I had a lot of fun with Sonic the Hedgehog, Kirby’s Dreamland 3, Umihara Kawase, Super Mario Galaxy and VVVVVV.
Perhaps not a traditional gaming platform, but the museum is also home to a BBC Micro from the early 1980’s. I was quite excited to play around with this, having never used one before, and had fun making it perform basic tasks like printing and maths.
The museum room itself is fairly small, but they have packed plenty of fun into it, and it was a great way to spend two hours. As I left the venue, I had a look round the shop which had some nice items including mugs, art books and even a Commodore 64 Mini.
The National Video Game Museum team is doing a fantastic job and I hope to see them expand further in the near future. Its a great attraction for Sheffield and South Yorkshire!
You can buy tickets for your own trip here!