Game Masters: The Exhibition

Date information27 September-09 March
10am-4pm Daily
Location informationNFSA Acton
Event cost$19/$15/$12 (adult/conc/jnr 5-17). Kids 0–4 free. Family passes available.

With the opening of Game Masters: The Exhibition on 27 September, the NFSA turns into Australia’s biggest video game arcade with the world’s greatest designers, characters and 100+ playable games.

Bookings Open 9 August - Sign up now for updates and Game Masters discount code

The exhibition is open daily 10am–4pm from Friday 27 September 2019 until Monday 9 March 2020. 

Booking online before your visit is recommended, and allows fast-track entry on busy days.

Tickets: $19/$15/$12 (adult/concession/junior 5-17). Kids up to age 4 free. Family passes available.

A program of special events and screenings will complement the exhibition for the duration of the season.

About Game Masters

Following a six-year international tour and more than 1 million visitors, Game Masters: The Exhibition returns to Australia and makes its Canberra debut at the 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.

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.

Game Masters 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. 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 (see below).


Game Masters Highlights

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-focused 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.


Tickets on sale from Friday 9 August. Sign up now for updates and Game Masters discount code.



Education Partner: Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE)

Industry Partner: Game Plus

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