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 monthly 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 special guest bloggers.

In September, we are hearing from collectors on both sides of the Tasman.  Private collectors are extraordinarily knowledgeable about the history of games.  Some are also engaged in software preservation activities. This month, we bring you their responses to questions about how they got started, their passion and motivations, and the local historic significance of their collections.  Do take the opportunity to ask our guest bloggers any questions you have, or use their recollections to stimulate your own memories.

This week, veteran NZ collector Michael Davidson tells us what he doesn’t collect (not much!), as well as some of the NZ-made gems in his collection (Strip Poker II” and “Malzak”).  In case you missed them, you can also read about: two collectors - Andrew Kerr and Nick Hook – associated with the wonderful Sega Survivors site; Microbee collector, Alan Laughton; and Andrew Stephen, who mostly collects Sinclair computers, and shared some of the original artwork from the game Laser Hawk, which is in our online exhibition.

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.

  • 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 »
  • Collector – Andrew Stephen

    What got you started collecting on/around the area of games? I was lead into collecting by nothing more than misty-eyed nostalgia. My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81. In the early 80s, at 10 or 11 years old, I taught myself to program a ZX81 which was on display in a local electronics ... Read More »
  • Sega Survivors – Nick Hook

    What got you started collecting on/around the area of games? / What do you collect? I have managed to restrict my collecting to the Sega SC-3000 / SC-3000H. I think most collectors have their own nostalgic reasons for doing what they do, or at least that is how it starts. In my case, the Sega ... Read More »
  • Sega Survivors – Andrew Kerr

    What got you started collecting on/around the area of games? I was an avid reader as a child and you could argue that my original game collection consisted of all the Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy books! My transition to collecting computer games began when the electronic gaming industry reached the ... Read More »

Recent Comments

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Featured Company

Panther Games

Panther Games was founded in 1985 by Dave O’Conner.  Based in Canberra, Panther originally designed hex-based strategic military simulation board games, releasing three titles in the 1980s: “Trail of Strength” ... Read More »

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