Game Masters: The Exhibition

ACMI Game Masters Installation ViewFollowing a 6-year international tour and more than 1 million visitors, Game Masters: The Exhibition returns to Australia, making its Canberra debut at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) from 27 September 2019.

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. It was the first large-scale exhibition to take visitors behind the scenes of how video games are made as well as spotlighting the people who make them.

Featuring interviews, never-before-seen concept artwork, an amazing display of vintage consoles and collectable items, and more than 80 playable games, visitors won’t want to leave!

Over 30 game designers who have made a significant and ongoing impact in the field are profiled throughout, including the most famous and influential creators in the history of the medium, across three sections: Arcade Heroes, Game Changers and Indies.

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.

“Game Masters is a lot of fun, offering visitors hours of discovery and play,” said Jan Müller, CEO NFSA. “But it is also a formal acknowledgement by the NFSA of the importance of video games in contemporary pop culture, their influence in immersive storytelling, and their role within the broader audiovisual production sector.”

“Game Masters provides an opportunity for audiences to discover the creative process behind video games and be amazed by their evolution. It is more than an exhibition; it is a space for different generations of gamers to come together and celebrate their favourites.”

Created and curated by ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image), Game Masters first opened in Melbourne in 2012. It has since toured to nine museums worldwide including venues in the USA, Germany, New Zealand, Scotland, and Sweden. Much-loved by audiences around the globe, the exhibition has been refreshed at each leg of the tour and will return to Australia with new content.

“We are thrilled that the Game Masters exhibition will be returning to Australia and showing at the NFSA,” said Senior ACMI Curator Fiona Trigg. “There are deep connections between film, TV and videogames and this exhibition reveals how the worlds’ best designers approach storytelling, character design and playability in so many different ways.”

“From dance challenges to quixotic puzzle mediations to vintage arcade games, all playable, the exhibition is fun for the mind, the body and the imagination!”

Game Masters: The Exhibition
National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, McCoy Circuit, Acton (Canberra)
Exhibition: 27 September 2019 – 9 March 2020
Entry fees apply

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Game Masters: The Exhibition (installation view – Melbourne) – courtesy of ACMI