Hello there. We’re the National Videogame Foundation.

The National Videogame Foundation was formed as a not-for-profit organisation in September 2016, following a crazy summer at the National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham (more on that later).

But y’know, why bother? Aren’t videogames a zillion-dollar industry? Why do they need a not-for-profit foundation meddling?

Over the last year at the Arcade and the previous decade running the GameCity festival in Nottingham, we’ve increasingly found ourselves in the choppy waters between videogames and other organisations. We didn’t plan to do our work there, but we’ve found we’re spending lots of time swimming back and forth creating projects and passing messages from one camp to the others. It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve instigated some great collaborations, but it’s exhausting swimming all the time.

Much better to build some bridges.

The National Videogame Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to develop the role of videogames in culture, education and society.

We help introduce and interpret videogames to more diverse sets of people and organisations. We do that through exhibition and event work, education outreach and collaborative projects. 
Also, we’re going to help inspire new and diverse voices to make videogames, because that’s how they’re going to stay interesting. Not only should everyone be able to play games, but everyone should be able to make them.

We’re going to document those adventures here, in an effort to inform and entertain you. I’m Iain, the CEO, and other folks are going to be writing too.

The main place we do our work is at the National Videogame Arcade. It’s a cultural centre dedicated to videogames.

(Here’s a quick intro from Computerphile, with apologies for the manic delivery. Over-tired and over-compensating to disguise it…)

You can discover them, play them, learn about them, learn how to make them, learn how to think about them all under one roof. The NVA has hundreds of members of the public pass through its doors every week, many of which are discovering the breadth of games for the first time.

The National Videogame Arcade, Nottingham

(One of my favourite parts of the building is our Minecraft suite. We run guided sessions a few times a day, with one of our crew acting as a moderator and ‘camera’ player. Their view of the 15 people is projected at the front of the room. We have regular epiphanies as parents, used to only seeing the game played by their kid in front of single monitor, suddenly realise that all the kids in the room are in the SAME SPACE working TOGETHER to BUILD SOMETHING! It’s easy to forget that synchronous, collaborative, three-dimensional space is a big idea.)

We also regularly welcome coach loads of school kids on trips, run creative workshops at weekends and after-school, run evening events with developers - we try to accommodate any good idea as well as trying to have lots of our own.

The NVA is the bridge that the public pass across the most.

The Foundation runs the NVA, but it’s also working on delivering new projects and initiatives. We’re working with partner organisations around the world to develop new commissioning models for games, we’re helping to develop policy for public support, we’re creating new publications… There’s a lot to share…

To grow, we need the help of our friends. The Foundation doesn’t get any core funding for its work, so any money it has it generates through visitors to the NVA, events, sponsorship and our patrons. We’d love it if you want to help, no pressure.

Why are we here on Medium? 
We want to share our ideas, adventures and processes. We think a lot about videogames, and we want to start new conversations about them and the things they can do. 
We want the Foundation to be a centre of gravity for the cultural life of videogames, build new bridges and inspire people that videogames have something to offer them. Perhaps, unsuspectingly, those same people have something to offer videogames…

We’re the National Videogame Foundation. 
Pleased to meet you.