DJ Yoda brought his incredible History of Gaming show to the National Media Museum as part of the first ever Yorkshire Games Festival on Friday 11 November. Gaming fans packed into the Pictureville Cinema for an audiovisual tour through over 35 years of nostalgic clips, 8-bit anthems and some hilarious archive footage.

Mixing footage and music live from the cinema’s stage, Yoda was clearly enjoying himself and it didn’t take long to win over the audience. This was a unique show crafted by someone with a genuine passion for gaming, delivered with skill and Yoda’s trademark humour.
The journey began with a PacMan mash-up which blended in-game footage with some brilliantly 80s footage to tell the story of the first blockbuster game. Looking back on a time where gaming didn’t take itself so seriously – and breakfast cereals were the ultimate marketing tool –  was refreshing and highly amusing.
An 8-bit remix of the Smiths’ This Charming man was an unexpected highlight and one of many examples of Yoda’s ability to mix things up.

The show was definitely one for the 80s kids and as we entered the era of the Super Nintendo and Sega Megadrive, the appearance of games like Golden Axe, Streets of Rage and Outrun drew whoops from the audience. It was also an opportunity to celebrate some of the eras less celebrated games…Michael Jackson’s Moonraker anyone?

One of the big appeals of the show was re engaging with so many nostalgic soundtracks. Yoda managed to weave forgotten favourites seamlessly into a mixture of hip-hop beats and well-chosen pop, keeping the tempo high and the audience on their toes.

The Playstation One era was handled particularly well with games such as Resident Evil and Wipeout providing excellent fodder. As was the James Bond section, with N64’s Goldeneye predictably claiming the starring role.

The modern era of gaming was skimmed over in far less detail than the 80s and 90s were afforded, although key franchises such as Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty were given their dues. It’s hard to imagine these modern games will ever evoke the same sense of sentimental charm as their forebearers, but it was incredible to see how far the industry has come in such a short period of time. And it made me feel lucky to have grown up in such a golden age for gaming. Looking around at the smiling faces leaving the auditorium it seemed the feeling was mutual.

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