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Videogame Nation at Woodhorn.
Videogame Nation at Woodhorn.

AN exhibition inviting young and old to get lost in Space Invaders or embark on a spring clean with 1980s computer game character Jet Set Willy proved a big draw over last week’s half-term holiday.

It also saw the return of mining to Ashington’s Woodhorn Museum – in the form of the 1983 computer game Manic Miner, at least.

The exhibition, called Videogame Nation, chronicles the evolution of what began as hobby for geeks into one of the most lucrative entertainment industries in the world.

On until September, it offers a hands-on approach to learning about the development of the computer gaming industry.

With close to 40 games to play, including Jet Set Willy, Ferrari Challenge, Space Invaders and Lego Star Wars, there’s a lot to keep gaming fans occupied.

Visitors can find out how videogaming started and see for themselves how the crude graphics of the early games gave way to the close-to-cinematic quality images of today.

They can also hear game designers, including some from the north east, talk about their experiences of breaking new ground with each successive title.

Consoles include the rare Atari Jaguar and the Amstrad GX4000, as well as the Nintendo Wii.

Museum director Keith Merrin, pictured, said: “Videogame Nation is a fantastic show for the whole family. It is very much a hands-on exhibition that should entertain and engage everyone.

“It’s a great opportunity for the younger generation to show off their skills and even teach grandparents how to play.

“For many parents, the bedroom shelves in our display will take them back to their teenage years, with old machines, games and publications, and, of course, parents will thoroughly enjoy talking about their childhood.

“The exhibition should even satisfy today’s teenagers.”

Details of opening times and admission prices are available at