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.

Private collectors are extraordinarily knowledgeable about the history of games.  Some are also engaged in software preservation activities. In September, we are hearing from collectors on both sides of the Tasman: we bring you collectors’ responses to questions about how they got started, their passion and motivations, and the local historic significance of their collections.  Use their recollections to stimulate your own memories, and add them here.

This week, Rob MacBride reflects on the gratification of solid state media.  He joins illustrious company from previous weeks: veteran NZ collector Michael Davidson tells us about what he doesn’t collect (not much!), as well as some of the NZ-made gems in his collection (Strip Poker II” and “Malzak”); two collectors – Andrew Kerr and Nick Hook – associated with the wonderful Sega Survivors site reflect on the system which has a special place in Australasian game history; Microbee collector, Alan Laughton, shares some of the rarer titles he’s been involved with for that Australian system; and Andrew Stephen, who mostly collects Sinclair computers, shares 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 – 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 »
  • 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 »

Recent Comments

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Featured Creator

Alfred Milgrom

Alfred Milgrom  co-founded Melbourne House publishing and Beam Software games development studio. Milgrom completed undergraduate science and then post-graduate studies in physical chemistry, at The University of Melbourne. It was ... Read More »


View the Creators archive »

Featured Company

Grandstand

Grandstand was the New Zealand importer and distributor of the Sega SC3000 computer.  Company Director, Leslie Kenyon, had previously used the Grandstand name to sell electronic games in the U.K. ... Read More »


View the Companies archive »

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