At the end of September, Melanie Swalwell was an invited speaker at the first Digital Nationz entertainment expo, held at Vector Arena in Auckland. Swalwell, whose historical work on digital games began in New Zealand, spoke about the homegrown games produced in the 1980s, as well as the Play It Again team’s work to collect and preserve the early computer games from this era.
Pictured here in front of a slide of the wholly New Zealand made “Malzak” arcade machine, a highlight of the weekend was the opportunity to see and play “Malzak” at the Videogames History Museum set up by collectors Michael Davidson and Mark Barlow (PC World documented this here). Davidson and Swalwell have co-authored a piece on “Malzak” (forthcoming in an anthology with Routledge). Equally exciting was the appearance of an electrical engineer who worked on assembling the “Malzak” cabinets, in Auckland, in the early 1980s and recalled the details of its construction.
Also significant was the crowd-funding initiative Barlow launched to start a Computer Museum in downtown Auckland.