The National Videogame Arcade is a family day out, a leading cultural centre and the home of videogames. It’s unique!

At the NVA you can explore three floors of playable exhibitions about videogames.
You can meet your friends here and play your own games.
You can learn new skills. Hear a talk. Meet renowned gaming experts.
Even have your birthday party!

Explore our galleries or just drop in for a visit to the Toast Bar.
There’s something new to discover on every visit to the NVA!

Opening Times

During term time we have workshops and educational visits for schools and groups during the week.

We are open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10am until 6pm.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10am – 6pm*

*During school holidays (half-terms and summer holidays) we are open every day.

If you have any questions about planning your visit contact or call 0115 881 3091

The Lobby

Down in the lobby there’s plenty for you to play on as well as the NVA shop and Welcome desk.
Here you’ll get your wristband that allows you access to the galleries ALL DAY!
Whilst you’re here don’t forget to put yourself into a videogame using our awesome NVA Photo Booth and check out our ever changing ‘Now Playing’ board to see what’s new!

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Mission Control

A game about making games!
Take command of Mission Control for the ultimate creative space battle in which you control every aspect of the game!

Don’t like the soundtrack? Remix it with the faders!
Want a different alien? Draw your own and scan it into the game!
Want to change the animation? Do it whilst you play!

All of the changes happen in real-time whilst the game is being played.
Mission Control invites everyone to play AND make the game…


Minecraft Marathons

Discover the gaming phenomenon that has taken the world by storm!
Break and place blocks to build a world of your own devising and join in with our ever popular mini-games in the Minecraft Loft!

Room Racers

Race virtual cars around the gallery floor – with a twist…
Any of the other REAL objects that you put onto the ground block the path of the virtual car. Lieven Van Velthoven’s amazing game continues to be one of our most popular attractions!


The Hall of Inputs

The way we play videogames keeps on changing.
Remember, less than ten years ago iPhone’s hadn’t been invented!
Our NEW exhibits on Gallery 2 celebrate and explore the many different ways we can control videogames…

Point and click Indiana Jones through an adventure, climb a wall with a keyboard, defend earth with a trackball, rock the Music room with a guitar, leap walls on a skateboard and finally, control the amazing Bronco-matic with your breathing!
Hold on tight!

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A History of Videogames in 100 Objects

Step back in time and see where it all began.

This is a history of British videogame culture from Nim to the Oculus Rift.
Remember Astro Wars? Ever seen a Magnavox Odyssey? How about Lara Croft Lucozade? This is an ever-changing, interactive exhibition which gives you the chance to get hands on with gaming history.

Game Inspectors

Games can be hard to explain, especially if you’ve never played them before.
But don’t panic!

Our Game Inspector room on Gallery 3 is here to take some of your best loved games to pieces so you can see how they work. Learn about Physics in Gang Beasts, design in Super Mario Bros, health in LEGO Star Wars or sound design on a Commodore 64.

If there’s a game that YOU’D like us to inspect, let us know!

Early Access Greenhouse

Why would you want to play something that’s not finished?!

At the NVA we think that how things are made is as interesting as the final thing.
Our early access Greenhouse lets you play games before they’re fully grown and invites you to send feedback to the developers. The selection of games in here changes regularly, so check back often for some real exclusives!


The Cinema

It’s dark and it’s got amazing sound!
The NVA Cinema is where we give you a space to relax a little and play some more sensory experiences. Sit back, pick up a controller and relax…


Arcade Machines

Whilst most of our building is a new kind of arcade, we know and love the old classics just as much as you do! That’s why we have a constantly changing collection of stand-up and play machines for you to try out at the NVA, including:

Donkey Kong
Track and Field
Space Invaders
Time Crisis
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Namco Arcade Classics
Sunset Riders.

Oh, and don’t worry about saving up your coins before you visit, they’re all on freeplay!