New partnership to explore video gaming’s past, present and future

Monday, 23 March 2020

The ever-evolving story of computer gaming will be under the spotlight in a significant new collaboration between the University of Nottingham and the national gaming heritage, culture and education charity, the BGI. 

The partnership is being established as the University welcomes the BGI to its new Research and Development offices at Lakeside Arts on University Park. 

The BGI was established to run the National Videogame Museum and its collection (previously the National Videogame Arcade in Hockley, Nottingham). The Museum is now in Sheffield, but the Technical and Collections team will be working out of the Lakeside campus at the University of Nottingham.

The BGI’s new footprint on campus will allow its R&D team to collaborate closely with university researchers from many disciplines including the arts, social sciences, education, engineering, psychology and computer science.

Among the plans for new activities are a programme of engagement with schools, internships for students at the University and funding bids for new research projects in the field of digital and games culture.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts, Professor Jeremy Gregory

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Arts, Professor Jeremy Gregory, said: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with the BGI. The collaboration is particularly timely as Nottingham has recently been awarded Immersive Hub status as part of the UK’s Digital Catapult programme. Our collaboration will help to create the country’s No.1 space for videogame memorabilia, gaming technology and videogame research, and will feed directly into the public-facing museum and exhibition space at the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield.”

Rick Gibson © BGI

CEO of the BGI, Rick Gibson, said: “Partnering with University of Nottingham is an important and strategic step for our new charity. We’re thrilled to find a permanent home for our Collection, to work alongside the University’s team of expert researchers and to base our new education and curation office here. We have a long and successful history of working with the University, especially the Mixed Reality Lab, and we expect our Nottingham-based team of curators, archivists and educators will grow substantially over the coming years.”

Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Nottingham, Helen Kennedy, has been appointed a trustee of the BGI. Helen said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for BGI and the university community to co-create an historically astute future-oriented vision for gaming and games culture. Together we have the opportunity to shape an approach to gaming, games making and games culture that recognises the critical challenges and the incredible opportunities facing the liveliest of our contemporary art forms.”

Professor Helen Kennedy, Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies

The University and the BGI have signed a collaboration agreement giving the Institute access to office space at Lakeside Arts and space for the housing of its collection of gaming memorabilia including design documents, original concept art, hard and software prototypes and British-made video games dating back to the early 1970s. These precious archives will be housed at the University and used to regenerate the popular exhibition at the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield. The archives include material from Rebellion in Oxford, Rare in Leicestershire and Games Workshop in Nottingham. 

Story credits

For more information please contact Emma Rayner, Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Arts on +44 (0)115 951 5793 or email 

Emma Rayner - Media Relations Manager, Faculty of Arts
Phone: 0115 748 4413

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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 25 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer, proud of our Athena SWAN silver award, and a key industry partner- locally and globally.

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