The Evolution of Gaming

The evolution of gaming @ Bradford Media Museum


When thinking about museums you would rarely associate them with video games, however the National Media Museum celebrates their arrival since the late seventies, with an interactive shrine. It is here that you can play an array of retro games on consoles and machines spanning three decades, in the museum’s gaming lounge. 

Gaming hit the mainstream in the seventies, with the likes of Space Invaders, Asteroids and Pac-Man conquering most gaming arcades across the United States and later in the UK. Originating in Japan, Pac-Man grossed over $2.5 billion in quarters by the nineteen nineties, and remains one of the most played games ever world-wide. This explosion of arcade gaming also led to a demand for gaming at home, and so the inevitable birth of the game console meant that people could play their favourite game titles from the comfort of their couch.

Taking inspiration from cartoons and other forms of animation, video games soon became one of the most popular hobbies amongst young people. The first home console to feature plug in cartridges was the Atari VCS 2600, which brought Space Invaders and Pac-Man into the living-room. Atari was also responsible for the very first commercial video game; Pong (1972), available for home use via their ‘Home Pong’ console. It was this game that led to the start of the video game industry as we know it today.

Bradford’s Media Museum is host to one of the largest video game archives in the country, showing how gaming has evolved over the past thirty years. Along with the Atari, their collection includes; The Nintendo Game Boy, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and Sega Master System.

Nintendo Game Boy originally bundled with Tetris.

Some of the most well-known videogame characters are now treated like celebrities with the likes of Nintendo’s Mario and Zelda making appearances in name and image world-wide. The main market for games now comes in the form of the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U and various gaming PC’s on offer. Gaming in a modern age has seen the arrival of new technologies allowing for greater graphics, beautiful worlds, believable characters, and games such as The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V jostling for ‘game of the year’ titles.

Bradford Media Museum offers many exhibitions to attract media fans, and one of the best and most engaging is the games lounge. A fun experience overall, which teaches you about how gaming has changed and how it has contributed to popular culture.


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