Sheffield's National Videogame Museum got into a Twitter spat with English Heritage - but it ended brilliantly

A Twitter spat between Sheffield’s National Videogame Museum and English Heritage ended in the most brilliant way.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 3:52 pm
Updated Friday, 14th February 2020, 4:05 pm

Bosses at the museum took exception to a new advert by the conservation charity showing a sword plunged into a games controller beneath the catchline ‘Isn’t it time to make their virtual world history’.

But while Twitter rows have a habit of descending quickly into bitter abuse, there was a very different outcome this time.

After one games developer branded the campaign ‘daft’ and suggested ‘how about collaborating instead of this nonsense’, the museum got involved.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It responded by creating its own subtly altered advert, with the sword pixelated, the catchline changed to ‘isn’t it time to start celebrating our virtual history’ and the offer of 10 per cent off tickets for English Heritage members.

In a message to English Heritage, the museum added: “To be clear, we think you’ll be super interested to see what young people are learning from videogames!

“Games like Total War, Age of Empires and Assassin's Creed are fantastic at teaching young people about history! Let's work together.”

English Heritage was quick to hold its hands up and admit it got it wrong, and even reached out to take the museum up on its offer of collaboration.

The National Videogame Museum in Sheffield city centre

“We missed the mark one this one and we’re sorry. This leaflet was aimed at parents and the message was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek,” it wrote.

“We definitely didn’t mean to dismiss the value of digital culture but appreciate it may have come across differently.

“We’d like to take you up on your offer of working together. Can we chat?”

The National Videogame Museum relocated to Sheffield just over a year ago, opening its new premises on Castle Street, in the city centre, in November 2018.

English Heritage's original advert and the amended version created by the National Videogame Museum (pic: Paul Kilduff-Taylor / National Videogame Museum)

It announced just six months after reopening that it was expanding the new venue.

The museum is preparing to welcome gaming legend Masayuki Uemura, who designed the NES and SNES consoles, for a special event on Wednesday, February 26, and tickets are available online now.

For more about the National Videogame Museum, visit www.thenvm.org.