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By Laura Nebout on

Game on: Power Up returns permanently to the Science Museum

After five successful seasons as a temporary event, the Science Museum permanently welcomed back Power Up, our hands-on gaming experience, on Thursday 27 July 2023.

Power Up visitors can get hands-on with some of the very best video games and consoles of the past five decades in this action-packed experience.  With over 160 consoles and hundreds of games available all year long, visitors of all ages and experience can undertake a journey through the history of gaming, from the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 5.

Gallery view of Power Up, the Science Museum’s hands-on gaming experience.

Inside the gaming experience, visitors can navigate between 20 themes and sections. Running along the back wall of Power Up, the timeline explores the evolution of gaming, featuring 27 consoles from Binatone TV Master all the way to the Xbox One. Accompanying information highlights iconic development in gaming, enriching the gaming experience and giving visitors a chance to explore gaming history first-hand.

The timeline wall, which highlights iconic development in gaming, in Power Up, the Science Museum’s hands-on gaming experience.

Right at the entry of Power Up, the Physical section gets visitors up and moving on Wii Sport, or showing off their musical skills in Guitar Hero. The Arcades include over a hundred games to pick from for a ride down memory lane, while the neighbouring Virtual Reality section allows gamers to fully immerse themselves in digital worlds.

L-R: Visitors playing Guitar Hero in Power Up, the Science Museum’s hands-on gaming experience; Visitor exploring a digital world in the Virtual Reality section of Power Up, the Science Museum’s hands-on gaming experience.

Power Up also highlights the latest innovations in games in the New Gen area, from independent games like Untitled Goose Game to best-sellers such as Crash Bandicoot 4.

The future of gaming is also showcased: BAFTA Young Game Designers award-winners from the past five years have their games on exclusive display alongside a selection of this year’s winning games, all ready to be played. These annual awards are open to children and young people in the UK, and the BAFTA award showcase area in Power Up will be updated each year to welcome new games.

Families and friends enjoying a 4-player game in Power Up, the Science Museum’s hands-on gaming experience.

Several multiplayer sections highlight games best played with (or against!) fellow gamers. In the 2-player area, friends and family can challenge each other to Mario Kart on the GameCube, the Nintendo Wii or the Wii U. Gamers in the 4-player zone can build their virtual football team in FIFA 2003 or battle for victory in Crash Tag Team Racing. The ultimate multiplayer experience awaits visitors in our 16-player ring, where 16 people can simultaneously join the same game of Halo 3.

Visitors battling it out in an action-packed 16-person Halo tournament in Power Up, the Science Museum’s hands-on gaming experience.

Mario, Sonic and Zelda are some of the most famous names in gaming history: each of these heroes gets their own spotlight, with the sections allowing visitors to jump from one generation of consoles to another. Gamers can try to save Princess Peach by travelling the worlds of Super Mario from the N64 all the way to the Switch; fight against Dr Eggman in the first game of Sonic the Hedgehog; or embark on a quest to save the magical land of Hyrule in Wind Waker and Skyward Sword.

Family playing in Power Up, the Science Museum’s hands-on gaming experience

The Superheroes sections features other beloved characters and games such as Spiderman on the Atari 2600, or the opportunity to join the X-Men on the Megadrive. Visitors can also pick their favourite franchise-centred games from Disney and Lego.

Other themes explore the different experiences available in video games. The Sports and Football areas gives visitors a chance to try virtual golf in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005, go down digital slopes in 1080 Snowboarding, or play the beautiful game in FIFA 15 and World Cup Italia 90.

Some of the most iconic fighting games feature in their own section, with Street Fighter 2 or Virtual Fighter, the first 3D combat game.  Gamers can also race down the Rainbow Road in Super Mario Kart or get behind the wheel in Ridge Racer V in the Driving zone.

Super fans of Power Up have the chance to return again and again with the introduction of annual passes. For £15, visitors can play as many times as they wish throughout the year. Annual passes make an ideal and unique gift for the gamer in the family to hone their skills and indulge in their favourite digital distractions.

Power Up returns permanently to the Science Museum with support from OMEN and HyperX.

Ready Player One? Book your tickets now.