Retro games invade Norwich gallery

Space invaders are taking over The Forum's digital gallery, Fusion, in an event designed to showcase the history and development of the video game industry.

Visitors can try out all the major games consoles from the new Nintendo Wii right back to the Atari 2600, which was released in 1977.

'Retro Arcade 2: Megablast' opened this week to great success.

James Coates, the co-ordinator of the event, who lists his favourite retro games as Pac-man and Duck Hunt, said that by the afternoon the place was packed.

The majority of visitors are families with children, but the games have been enjoyed by people of all ages.

James remarked on how the different generations struggled to get on with each other's games, noting that it was particularly satisfying for adults to get the chance to beat their kids at the retro games. 'These old coin-operated games are designed to eat your money,' he said. 'They're really hard!'

Response from visitors was overwhelmingly positive. Caroline Sykes, 37, from Norwich, called it a 'blast from the past'

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Abel, 21, from Sprowston, said: 'I was quite shocked by how quickly these new graphics started to come out. But you can't beat the classics like Pac-man.'

Andy, 17, from Brooke, said: 'It just goes to show how much it's come on.'

The Television & Movie Store opposite The Forum are sponsoring the event and are running a competition with game-related prizes.

James explained that the recession was one factor which made this type of event so popular: 'Parents might not be able to afford to buy games consoles for their kids at home.'

'Retro Arcade 2: Megablast' is part of a larger event, 'Phones, Pixels and Plasmas'.

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