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.  Help us to build a database of information about 1980s computer games: make comments on the games and companies, and contribute your memories and artefacts.

Between September 2013 and December 2014, we ran a Blog with changing monthly themes and guest bloggers.  The regular entries have now ceased, but we will still make posts when there is something to post about.  You are welcome to comment on past posts.  Sign up to our newsletter to get notified of new posts.

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.

  • From Melbourne House to Czechoslovak Clubs

    Czechoslovakia of the 1980s was a country behind the so-called Iron Curtain. Its economy was in a dire shape and its citizens were either oppressed or annoyed (or both) by its conservative totalitarian regime. It required considerable personal connections to be able to subscribe to a Western magazine or import books and ... Read More »
  • 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 »

Recent Comments

Kevin Phillips:

The thing I remember about Penetrator was both its opening fireworks d ...

Gamification is [not] bulls**t. Or is it? | Hannah Ranson:

[…] my Year 5 teacher, Mr Foster, turning an entire term of clas ...


how do u play the goldfirlds game??? plz tell me ...

Featured Games


“QB” was written by Andrew Davie when he was still at school, and was released to the Melbourne Atari User’s Group around 1986, for free. The game is still available […]  Read More »

View the Games archive »

Featured Creator

Ron Harris

Ron Harris was a Brisbane-based engineer.  According to Vaughan Clarkson, he worked shift work on ABC TV transmission.  Outside the hours of his ABC roster, he apparently ran (?) Microbee’s […]  Read More »

View the Creators archive »

Content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 licence