Welcome to the Popular Memory Archive!

Digital games make up a significant but little known chapter in the history of the moving image in Australia and New Zealand. This site aims to exhibit some of the significant local games of the 1980s era, and collect documentation in order to remember early games through popular memory.

It features a curated exhibition of information about fifty 1980s Australian and New Zealand Games, and the Creators and Companies behind them.  We are also running a Blog with changing themes.

Help us to build a database of information about 1980s computer games: make comments on the games and companies, contribute your memories and artefacts, and participate in the action on the blog, with our guest bloggers.  Alison Gazzard, lecturer at the Institute of Education in London, is currently sharing some of her research on tie-ins between British and Australian games history.  Alison has interviewed UK game developers, Steve Clark and Jas Austin, about their memories of playing Beam Software / Melbourne House games, back in the day.  An earlier post reflects on some of the connections the educational software company 4Mation had to Australia.

We are keen to hear from anyone who has ideas for posts and other contributions.  If there’s something you’d like to see featured here, please get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to make it happen!

The Popular Memory Archive has been researched and compiled by Angela Ndalianis, Helen Stuckey, and Melanie Swalwell. The database was designed by Denise de Vries.

  • Memories of Melbourne House from British game players of the 1980s

    In a second post on the relationship between British and Australian computer game scenes in the 1980s, we turn to two game developers who reminisce about playing Beam Software and/or Melbourne House games during this time. As has been discussed in previous Play it Again blogs, the relationship between UK and ... Read More »
  • 4Mation: A British/Australian Box of Treasures

    For many British children growing up in the 1980s, the theme tune and sight of the witch in the educational game Granny’s Garden will often evoke a nostalgic response. Released in 1983, Granny’s Garden was developed by Mike Matson, a deputy head teacher at a school in Devon and an Advisory Teacher ... Read More »
  • Collector – Rob MacBride

    What got you started collecting on/around the area of games? A number of things really, I've lived my life in gaming; From the earliest time all I could think about was playing video games. First console was a 2600, and as I grew older ... Read More »
  • Collector – Michael Davidson

    What got you started collecting on/around the area of games?  I’ve always had an interest from a young age in computers and videogames and I’m old enough to have grown up during a period when both were new and exciting. There was a period where there was a flood of different and new ... Read More »
  • Microbee – Alan Laughton

    What got you started collecting on/around the area of games?  Back in the 80's I was also a stamp collector, so collecting came natural.  But for computer games, there was a scarcity of games for the Microbee at the time, so one collected everything you could, be it a type-in, public domain, downloaded ... Read More »

Recent Comments

Bruce Mitchell:

Jacaranda Software distributed 4Mation Software titles in Australia. M ...

Helen Stuckey:

Thanks Dan. Have added Commodore 64. Can you recall what other Austral ...

Dan Monceaux:

I think I may still have a boxed version of this on Commodore 64 in st ...

Featured Games


“1986” is a challenging Donkey Kong clone. You have to attempt to get through the screens by climbing ladders in a maze, avoiding hazards and racing the clock.  Read More »

View the Games archive »

Featured Creator

Rosanne Gare

Rosanne Gare was appointed to set up the software division within Jacaranda Wiley, in Brisbane.  It was intended more to explore the waters than to make money, though to everyone’s […]  Read More »

View the Creators archive »

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