ACMI Reboots Its Permanent Gameplay Lounge: Games Lab 2.0

ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) is bringing a new look and feel to its Games Lab, a communal game playing hub in the heart of its Screen Worlds exhibit.

Journey The Video Game [image source:], crowd ink, crowdink,,
Journey The Video Game [image source:]

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is a unique institution dedicated to promoting engagement with the moving image in all of its forms. ACMI is (rather appropriately) located right in the heart of Melbourne – in Federation Square just across from Flinder’s Street Railway Station.

ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) is bringing a new look and feel to its Games Lab, a communal game playing hub in the heart of its Screen Worlds exhibit.

The redesigned Games Lab will feature eleven new games, an enticing mix of big budget and independent releases that celebrate the craft, culture and community of videogames.

Carefully chosen for their representation of genre, design and interactivity, the featured titles give visitors a taste of the sophistication and artistry of video game development. Drawing inspiration from some of the oldest and most well-loved games, the curated selection showcases everything from action, adventure, simulation, strategy and sports, and confirms a strong lineage from the earliest video games to the most contemporary and coveted releases played today.

Among those taking their place in the exhibition is the critically acclaimed, BAFTA Award-winning Lumino City by State of Play Games, the mesmerizing Indie adventure Journey by thatgamecompany, Nintendo’s newest take on a classic with Mario Kart 8, and De Blob 2 by Australian developers Halfbrick, the creators of hit Fruit Ninja.

Other games making it into the new Games Lab include retro inspired Nidhogg (by Kristy Norindr and Mark Essen of Messhof), point-and-click hand animated adventure Broken Age (Double Fine Productions), wilderness survival challenge Firewatch (Campo Santo), football simulation from Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 (PES Productions & Konami), Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios & Microsoft Studios) and Spelunky (Mossmouth LLC).

A special zone dedicated to the cultural phenomenon of Minecraft (Mojang) has been carved out of the area, allowing fans to conceive and construct their own imaginary 3D worlds in a Minecraft-like built zone.

Screen Worlds will get another new addition in time for the school holidays with Sesame Street’s Once Upon A Monster storybook adventure game integrated into the Kids’ Space. Sesame Workshop’s collaboration with Double Fine and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, features Sesame Street’s much loved characters and is suitable for ages 4+, creating a truly all-ages gaming experience in the gallery.

The Games Lab refresh paves the way for further updates in Screen Worlds, with early learning interactives, animation gems from the ACMI Collection, virtual reality and augmented reality experiences making up some of the new experiences in the coming months.

In December, ACMI added the Kids’ Trail, a 30-minute discovery trail through ACMI that encourages learning about the evolution of the moving image. The trail, which has proven popular with families, includes activities and introduces a series of characters along the way.  

The refreshed ACMI Games Lab is up and running now and waiting for players. Screen Worlds is open daily from 10am to 5pm and entry is free.

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ACMI is a unique institution at the heart of Melbourne's iconic meeting place, Federation Square, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) celebrates, explores and promotes the moving image in all its forms - film, television and digital culture. Through award-winning Australian and international exhibitions, films, festivals, live events, creative workshops, education programs and resources, ACMI provides unsurpassed ways to engage with the moving image.