The history of British video gaming

For many of us, our workshop sheds are more than just a functional space, they are also a space for us to relax and be at ease whilst doing things we love. For some, it’s DIY, for others its scientific experiments, for others a place to paint your models and for people like me, it is the place where we get to play our videogames and not just any games as in my case they are the legends that are retro games. 

Modern Retro Consoles

Retro gaming isn’t new (see what we did there) and it appears to have become something of a trend in the past few years with the core three gaming companies recently following the trend of gaming nostalgia and launching consoles which appeal to not only the most avid of retro gamer but also the newbies that may never have had the privilege of playing Tekken 3.  The most recent of these microdevices was Septembers launch of the Sega Genesis, which was following on from 2016 when Nintendo launched their “NES Classic”. This was followed by the less successful “Playstation Classic”. So what exactly are these microsystems? Well…

They are modern micro devices which come complete with the original games that made them so famous. So basically they offer you the unique opportunity to play these original games without having to gently blow into a cartridge or experience the lag that you would when playing on your original system…not bad huh? Let us know below if any of you have tried any of them, as we appreciate the first-hand reviews!

National Videogame Museum

The gaming blast from the past doesn’t end there with the National VideoGame museum recently opening in Sheffield, this offers a unique opportunity to not only learn about the impact that British developers had on gaming, but you can also play the actual game son their original devices.  Described on their site as:

Discover the past, present and future of play in a brand new, interactive, family-friendly museum.
Explore nearly a hundred different games, including some classics you grew up with and some you may have missed!
Learn about gaming culture and the objects that represent it.
Create your own games, using our dedicated creation stations

Not bad, huh? Imagine being able to beat your younger friends at your favourite childhood game on the original console that you played it on? A day out, well spent, we’d say! 

History Of British Gaming 

For those of you unable to make the trip to Sheffield anytime soon, you can bring the video gaming history lesson to your workshop shed instead by watching “The History of British Gaming” documentary. This has been produced by giffgaff in partnership with the National Videogame museum mentioned above – collaboration at its best! 

Presented by Eurogamer’s Aoife Wilson, the film is the first-ever documentary to focus on the story of videogames in Britain and takes viewers on a gaming journey through the decades. Starting in the 1980s with the British made ZX Spectrum, before moving through the 1990s, into the 21st century where it examines the growth of mobile gaming and the increasing diversity in the industry.

Commenting on the release of the film, Layla West, Head of PR and Social, giffgaff said, ‘At giffgaff, our members are at the heart of everything we do and celebrating other communities is important to us. We know gamers are a core part of our community so our gaming content is for them. As big fans of gaming, it is exciting to see British gaming immortalised in a documentary for the first time’

Phew, with all this gaming nostalgia happening it feels like all of our Christmases have come at once. So what about you? Make sure to let us know below if you retro game or do any form of gaming within your workshop shed, and continue the conversation over on our social channels. 

About the author

Emma is a shed dweller and retrogamer.

2 thoughts on “The history of British video gaming

  1. Daniel OBrian says:

    Hardly the first documentary, the film From Bedrooms to Billions ( tackled this in 2014, they’ve since made two follow up films; The Amiga Years and, the recently released, Playstation Revolution, for which they were given exclusive access to Sony’s archives. All the films feature interviews with the games developers, designers and music creators, well worth a watch if this stuff floats your boat.

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