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Australia's Biggest Videogame Arcade

Australia's Biggest Videogame Arcade

Meet Mathieu Ravier, Chief Experience Officer at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) in Canberra. The Archive collects and preserves film, TV, music and new media made in Australia. Matt recently worked on Game Masters: The Exhibition, which has turned the NFSA into Australia’s biggest videogame arcade (with 80 games!) and is open to the public until March 9 2020.

KZ: Hi Matt! Tell us about your job!

M: The Archive collects and preserves film, TV, music and new media made in Australia. I create amazing experiences to share the collection with the public and ensure visitors have a great time.

KZ: Did you have any activities or hobbies as a child that helped with your career, or gave you skills that you feel you use a lot at work?

M: As a kid, I was less into sports and more into books and movies. Growing up, I started writing stories, making short films and organising parties for my friends. As a grown up, I found ways to do the same things, but as a job. I organised film festivals, events and exhibitions, helping creative people share their work with an audience. It’s the best job in the world!

KZ: How much did you know about videogame history before the exhibition?

M: I didn’t know a lot about the history, but I’ve learned a lot putting this exhibition together. Games are about storytelling, design and technology. As a child I played simple games on very simple computers with screens that had only one colour: orange! As I grew up, the technology improved and the games got better, but it was still hard to get good games at home, so I would travel to my local arcade to play with friends. As a teenager I got my first computer and my favourite games were Railroad Tycoon and Sim City. I still play today, mostly simulation and strategy games where you run a building or a city or a country. It’s a bit like work!

KZ: What is your favourite game in the Game Masters exhibition?

M: It’s called Lumino City. It’s an adventure game where you embark on a journey, solving puzzles along the way. Instead of a landscape made up of computer graphics though, you explore a fully hand-made world created out of paper, cardboard and glue, plus miniature LED lights and motors to bring it to life. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

KZ: Can you share an interesting behind the scenes fact about your job?

M: There are 3,000,000 items in our collection, so I’m always discovering new treasures when I peek behind the scenes. There are original costumes from The Wiggles, home movies of children’s parties that are almost 100 years old, and the world’s first ever feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906).

KZ: What would K-Zoners be surprised to learn about you?

M: I have a dog named Redford, a red kelpie. He doesn’t like to play video games, he’s more into hiking and camping. In fact, he’s taught me that it can be a lot of fun to turn the computer off once in a while and go play in the park!

Want to read more of our interview with Mathieu Ravier, or just want more gaming news? Check out the January issue of K-Zone, on sale now!


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17/12/2019 5:30:30 AM
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