NFSA turns into Australia’s biggest video game arcade, featuring world’s greatest designers, characters & 100+ playable games!

Following a 6-year international tour and more than 1 million visitors, Game Masters: The Exhibition will return to Australia and make its Canberra debut at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) from 27 September 2019 – 9 March 2020. The ultimate experience for gamers and families alike, Game Masters has been updated to include the latest gaming blockbusters as well as Australian creations.

Game Masters is an interactive journey through five decades of video game history, offering both a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process behind the world’s most popular characters and franchises, and a chance to play them. Featuring interviews, never-before-seen concept artwork, an amazing display of vintage consoles and collectable items, and more than 100 playable games, visitors won’t want to leave!

No matter whether you played Pong at the local milk bar in the 70s, or spent last night playing Fortnite on your phone, Game Masters has something for everyone: from the arcade era through to today’s eighth generation consoles and mobile game technology, and from the most popular video games on the planet to independent games with a cult-like following.

image source: Game Masters: The Exhibition Melbourne 2012


The first section, Arcade Heroes spotlights pioneering designers from the trailblazing and revolutionary arcade era, including Shigeru Miyamoto (Donkey Kong, 1981), Ed Logg (Asteroids, 1979), Masanobu Endo (Xevious, 1982), Toru Iwatani (Pac-Man, 1980), Eugene Jarvis (Defender, 1980) and Tomohiro Nishikado (Space Invaders, 1978). During this period designers were not always recorded for posterity, as was the case for the featured games Scramble, 1981 developed by Konami and Elevator Action, 1983 developed by Taito.

Leading contemporary designers who have had a major impact on shaping the medium as we know it feature in the second section, Game Changers, including Blizzard Entertainment (Diablo III, 2012), Paulina Bozek (SingStar, 2004), Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Sega Rally Championship, 1995), Peter Molyneux OBE (Fable III, 2010), Yuji Naka and the Sonic Team (Sonic the Hedgehog, 1991), Sega (Alex Kidd in Miracle World, 1986), Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy (Rock Band 4, 2015), Tim Schafer (Broken Age, 2014), Yu Suzuki (Hang On, 1983), TT Games (LEGO Batman 3: beyond Gotham, 2014) and Will Wright (SimCity, 1989).

The third chapter of the exhibition, Indies explores the pioneering and future-focussed world of independent game designers. Artists such as Jonathan Blow (Braid, 2008), Capy (Critter Crunch, 2008), Ken Wong (Florence, 2018), Halfbrick (Fruit Ninja Kinect, 2011), Masaya Matsuura (PaRappa the Rapper, 1996), Markus ‘Notch’ Persson (Minecraft, 2014), Rovio (Angry Birds, 2009), Bennett Foddy (Getting Over It, 2017), thatgamecompany (Journey, 2012), and The Behemoth (Castle Crashers, 2008) are profiled in this section.

Game Masters also features unique experiences such as a spectacular multiplayer dance stage for Dance Central 3 (2012), hands-on experiential music booths and a selection of original classic arcade machines from the 1970s and ’80s acquired especially for the exhibition, all playable in their original form.

Game Masters: The Exhibition will be open to the public from 27 September 2019 to 9 March 2020 at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) in Canberra. A program of special events and screenings will complement the exhibition for the duration of the season. Tickets will be available from 9 August 2019; audiences can sign up for Game Masters updates and special VIP ticket offers here.

  • Where: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, McCoy Circuit, Acton ACT
  • When: 27 September 2019 to 9 March 2020; 10am to 4pm, Monday to Sunday (except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)
  • Tickets: $19/$15/$12 (adult/concession/junior 5-17). Kids up to age 4 free. Family passes available.
  • For more information/