Play it again: What Institutions are collecting

Popular Memory Archive news

This month on the Popular Memory Archive they are thinking about the different aspects of game history which are being collected by different institutions. Shane Farrow kicks things off with a brief account of recent activity collecting New Zealand computer games and aspects of games culture at The Film Archive. What do you think ought to be collected to remember 1980s gaming? Join in the discussion at

What Institutions Collect - image

Join in the discussion at

The New Zealand Film Archive has been aware of the ‘institutional gap’ for several years with regard to the lack of representation of video games and early computer games within national cultural collections.  In 2005 the NZFA held an exhibition called C:/ DOS / RUN – Remembering the 80′s Computer, attracting record crowds, quickly realising there was a lot of public interest in the local history of computers and gaming software.


Thus far, NZFA has collected a variety of game / computer material from several different collectors, including a “Malzak” arcade cabinet and a sizable collection of Atari computer modules and accessories. Software items include floppy disks that come in 8”, 5 1/4”, 3 1/2” and 3” sizes. Also, 8-bit data cassettes of various lengths and the very common ROM Cartridges that existed before many of the other formats and are even still used in some hand-held games today. Other oddities are essentially dedicated game devices like the Sportronic Light Gun and console, and a Grandstand pocket arcade.

They would be very interested in hearing from anyone who can contribute any of the following to their game collection:

  • Software (source code, 8-bit cassettes, floppies, cartridges) written by New Zealanders
  • Hardware (1980s computers, consoles, hand-helds, gaming systems, arcade games…)
  • Documentation (Original brochures, promo’s, packaging, 1980s computer magazines…)
  • Your 80’s gaming memories (please contribute them here)
  • Are you a key retro games collector or a writer of 80s games? You may be an oral history candidate.

For further info or any enquiries related to the above, please contact Shane Farrow, Collection Developer and Video Games Project Manager at the New Zealand Film Archive.

Republished with permission. Don’t forget to comment on their website – Play it again and NZFA are collecting this for posterity!