Film Archive calls on 80s gaming fans

film archive play it again projectDo you remember playing Space Invaders or Galaga down at the fish and chip shop on Friday nights? Then the Play It Again project wants you, you gamehead you.

The Film Archive is collaborating with Flinders University of South Australia to preserve New Zealand and Australian video games of the 1980s. They're seeking 1980s games fans, programmers and collectors who can share memories, information, games or documentation relating to games.

First, they want to fill in a history of gaming culture in New Zealand and Australia during this period. This is where your memories come in.

Secondly, they're working to collect and preserve the games themselves. The Film Archive is also interested in photographs, video footage, magazines or other documentation featuring the games.

The Play It Again project is working on a solution that will enable playable versions of the collected games on modern portable devices.

“We’re keen to retell that history of what it was like to play games in the ‘80s in New Zealand and what sort of games they enjoyed the most,” says archivist Shane Farrow, who is overseeing the research at the Film Archive.

“We’d love to hear from people who collect the retro games or who were gamers in the ‘80s. We’d also love to hear from programmers, who wrote what we call ‘home brew’ - who did their own versions of games.

“When the Apple II came into schools students learnt how to use basic programming language and their maths teachers would often encourage them to start creating basic code. And what did they do? They always created games.”

Victoria University of Wellington, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Berlin Computerspiele Museum are also contributing.

If you've got something to contribute, send it to information@nzfa.org.nz.