Sonic the Hedgehog leaping against a stylised blue background

Game Masters: The Exhibition opens 27 September


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.

Jan Müller, CEO of the NFSA, said: ‘Game Masters is a lot of fun, offering visitors hours of discovery and play. 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.’

Senior ACMI Curator Fiona Trigg said: ‘We are thrilled that the Game Masters exhibition will be returning to Australia and showing at the NFSA. 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!’

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.

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 offer at

For exhibition images and interviews, please contact: Gabrielle Wilson, 0433 972 915 or



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



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.


The National Film and Sound Archive is Australia’s ‘living’ archive – the custodian of over 2.8 million items that we not only collect but preserve for future generations and share in many diverse ways.

Established in 1984, with our roots dating back to the 1930s, the NFSA is Australia’s premier audiovisual archive and a place of engagement with Australian audiovisual production, past and present, for everyone.


The Australian Centre for the Moving Image is Australia’s national museum of film, TV, videogames, digital culture and art – at the heart of Melbourne in Federation Square.

The world’s most visited moving image or film museum, ACMI exists to celebrate, support and explore the past, present and future of the moving image through a vibrant calendar of exhibitions, screenings, installations and commissions, festivals, workshops, as well as public and education programs, in Australia and beyond.