News Article

UK Retro Computer Museum Open Day

Posted by Damien McFerran

We paid this commendable UK-based event a visit. Our thoughts lie within...

While it's not directly related to Nintendo, the Retro Computer Museum open day recently took place and we decided it was our duty to pay the event a visit.

If you've not heard of these guys before then listen up: they aim to create a permanent display of retro gaming history where people can not only learn about the systems that have shaped the interactive entertainment landscape over the past few decades but also get their sweaty palms on them as well.

Instead of emulating these machines the museum and its founders want you to actually play the original hardware, hold the original pads and experience a truly original feel. It's a valiant project that is still evolving and one part of keeping the dream alive is acquiring much-needed funds by holding regular open days, like this one.

While the museum itself has a vast archive of machines and games, the majority of the hardware on display here was brought to the event by loyal supporters and friends. Walking around the hall (the event took place in the sleepy UK village of Swannington) was an awe-inspiring experience; BBC Micros rubbed shoulders with Neo-Geo AES consoles and PC Engine CD-ROM setups sat next to ultra-rare Sega SG-1000s. All of the machines were connected to televisions and despite the surprisingly large number of attendees, you could pretty much hop onto any system within a few minutes and get stuck into some real retro brilliance.

Although all of the gaming delights on display were of interest, our natural Nintendo-bias led us to gravitate towards the gorgeous Famicom Twin. This Japan-only fusion of the Famicom hardware (which was of course released as the NES in the west) and the unique (and rather fragile) Famicom disk drive was a real talking point and understandably attracted a lot of interest. Sat next to it was a NES, complete with Duck Hunt and a Zapper. A high-score challenge had been raging for the entire day and predictably there was no shortage of eager trigger-happy gamers waiting to see if they could top the leader board.

All in all, it was a fantastic event and all UK-based retro fans should keep their eyes on the RCM site for future open days. If the dream of a fully-functioning museum for our beloved hobby is going to come to pass we need to support groups like this.

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User Comments (28)

Knux

#2

Knux said:

I'm very glad to see that people are keeping retro gaming alive.
We gamers must never forget our roots.

DamoAdmin

#4

Damo said:

I'm sure there are events like this happening all over the world; just keep your eyes and ears open (and naturally we'll report on anything we think is worthy!)

astarisborn94

#7

astarisborn94 said:

I dreamed of having an retro gaming museme. If only if it was in America, that's what I would call vacation.

Reply to SuperSonic1990 Post 2#: Your right. We should never forget our video gaming roots. My two older brothers did and sold there lives to World of Warcraft, which I don't give a flip about. I on the other hand remember my video game roots and thanks to the Wii, I have not forgotton. Too bad many other hardcore Nintendo gamers are starting to forget, which is sad, because without the Virtual Console, we would never have the oppertunity to play Super Metroid, Sonic the Hedgehog, Bomberman'94, Super Mario Bros., The Last Ninja, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Samurai Showdown, or Mappy ever again, other then illegal ROMs download. As much as I hate how NOA is handling it right now, I like to give Nintendo thanks to for letting us revist classics such as Super Mario World and making memories with classics game we would otherwise not have been able to play such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Kawaiipikachu

#8

Kawaiipikachu said:

Wow nice museum.
Well i think it is also a tease showing off all the old hardware like that .
Well there was a simaluar event here in Australia in melbourne but unfortunately for me i had no way of travelling interstate to visit & since then the event long shut down .

Lotice-Paladin

#9

Lotice-Paladin said:

Who would've thought that this'd happen?

I mean I expected some sort of museum for games but not to see the rare famicom hardware or games! :P

Great to see something like this and it's so close! I wonder if they should make a section like this at E3???

Kid_A

#10

Kid_A said:

That's quite a dork fest. Looks like a bunch of tables with retro consoles set up. Not even really a museum.

CorbsAdmin

#11

Corbs said:

Heck, I might just start my own museum and charge admission. :D

Victoria

#13

Victoria said:

Oh my goodness! Swannington is just 5 minutes from me. I didn't realise this had opened. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for posting this article.

Sean_Aaron

#14

Sean_Aaron said:

That's pretty cool. Hopefully they'll do something like that in Scotland (maybe at the Glasgow Science Centre?).

Incidentally my MP forwarded my mail about classic IP to the Higher Education and Copyright ministry (why are those grouped together?). I got the response from the office I expected which backed up the status quo, saying that rights-holders cannot be compelled to exercise their rights, UK laws are different from the USA, but they watch them, etc.

They did say changes are ongoing with regards to the Gowers report and addressing the issue of orphaned works is on the table, however a title like Ducktales (ooh, they read my article!) isn't an "orphaned work" because the rights-holders are known and can be found.

I'm still hoping for the decriminalisation of individual distribution of copyrighted works via P2P compensated by some kind of Internet license fee or net media tax as that seems the best possible outcome, unfortunately.

DamoAdmin

#15

Damo said:

Victoria - sadly the event only lasted for the day - the museum doesn't currently have a permanent residence, all of the machines are in storage but the people who run it are working towards having somewhere where you can visit any time of year. I think the next event will be later this year but it's being relocated to nearby Hugglescote.

DamoAdmin

#16

Damo said:

Sean - that's interesting that you got a reply! Good to see they're at least monitoring the situation, I guess.

MickEiA

#18

MickEiA said:

There is so many emulators now for me as i'm only 14 it would be good to have an NES in my hand

Big_A2

#19

Big_A2 said:

@8. Kawaiipikachu:Sounds like the Game On event that took place in Melbourne last year. I went. It was like, the bestest thing ever.

Pj1

#21

Pj1 said:

This wasn't called Games was it? in London, Yes these kind of events should be held. Retro gaming is very important and most of the games that we still play today are from that era. Kids should know their gaming history rather than just playing the new games today, yes playing games like Mario Galaxy or some thing like that is as important as playing the original Mario Bros. For me retro games are fairly easy to play and the graphics should be respected for what they were back in the day. Like the playground arguments such as the SNES is better than the Mega drive then some one would say Yeah but the games are better on the M.D! Everyone remembers those days!

Nintendophile

#22

Nintendophile said:

I like that there's groups that are doing things like this; Preserving media history. It's been happening with films and music for quite some time, it's about time we started archiving great bits of gaming history for future generations to enjoy!

AndyRCM

#23

AndyRCM said:

Hello everybody, I am Andy Spencer, the Administrator of Retro Computer Museum. A huge thank you to Damien for coming along and also for posting this article. It is good to see the support that we receive - I will keep you all updated on our next event too!

Muzer

#24

Muzer said:

I have a Famicom Twin. They're not that fragile, they just wear out quickly. It's a subtle but important difference. I dropped mine from about 2m and it still worked perfectly (accidently of course, I was almost pooping myself afterwards until I turned it on and played SMB2j and forgot all about my troubles). But I've seen many where the owner treated them perfectly but used them a lot, where the drive belt melted.

DamoAdmin

#25

Damo said:

@AndyRCM - it was a pleasure mate. Thanks for holding such a brilliant event!

@Muzer - I was talking about the drive belt, which you mention. They're famous for being about as robust as a chocolate kettle.

James

#26

James said:

My sister lives in Hugglescote! Count me in for the next event - can't wait to hear your next update Andy!

AndyRCM

#27

AndyRCM said:

Just to let you know - we are having another event on November 15th of this year - we aim to make it bigger and maybe better by adding a few arcade cabinets in too! ;) Be good to see more new faces . . . come along to our website on www.retrocomputermuseum.co.uk for further information - join in our community forums too!

AndyRCM

#28

AndyRCM said:

Just a quick update on this, our last event in November of last year was a resounding success! In fact it was our best yet - we had over 140 visitors throughout the day. We had around a dozen or so Arcade machines, including a wicked pinball machine, those, along with over 50 retro computers and consoles everybody had a play on something. We have just announced another event for May 16th of this year. In case any of you want to come along . . . please visit www.retrocomputermuseum.co.uk for more details! :) Thanks!

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