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.  Help us to build a database of information about 1980s computer games: make comments on the games and companies, and contribute your memories and artefacts.

Between September 2013 and December 2014, we ran a Blog with changing monthly themes and guest bloggers.  The regular entries have now ceased, and this is an archived version of the site.

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.

  • Interview with Hobbit designer Veronika Megler on Storytelling by Luke C. Jackson

    In 2015, while undertaking a PhD in which I examined the role of a writer in creating narrative-driven games, I was fortunate enough to speak to four expert writers, each a pioneer in video game narrative design. One of these experts was Veronika M. Megler who, ... Read More »
  • Why write a Commodore 64 game today?

      July 12, 2015 is the release date of my first ever computer game named ‘Jam It’ – an arcade-style 2-on-2 basketball game. What’s unusual is that it’s for a computer which was very popular in the 80s – the Commodore 64. I have been asked many times why even attempt this and ... Read More »
  • From Melbourne House to Czechoslovak Clubs

    Czechoslovakia of the 1980s was a country behind the so-called Iron Curtain. Its economy was in a dire shape and its citizens were either oppressed or annoyed (or both) by its conservative totalitarian regime. It required considerable personal connections to be able to subscribe to a Western magazine or import books and ... Read More »
  • Memories of Melbourne House from British game players of the 1980s

    In a second post on the relationship between British and Australian computer game scenes in the 1980s, we turn to two game developers who reminisce about playing Beam Software and/or Melbourne House games during this time. As has been discussed in previous Play it Again blogs, the relationship between UK and ... Read More »
  • 4Mation: A British/Australian Box of Treasures

    For many British children growing up in the 1980s, the theme tune and sight of the witch in the educational game Granny’s Garden will often evoke a nostalgic response. Released in 1983, Granny’s Garden was developed by Mike Matson, a deputy head teacher at a school in Devon and an Advisory Teacher ... Read More »

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Featured Company


The American publishers Electronic Arts (EA) was founded in 1982 by Trip Hawkins. Previously employed by Apple, Hawkins left – taking a number of other Apple employees – to establish […]  Read More »

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