After five successful seasons, interactive gaming extravaganza POWER UP is back permanently at the Science Museum. 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. Families can join the racetrack in Mario Kart; parents and grandparents alike can show off their classic arcade skills with Pong and Pac-Man; while young people can challenge their friends and family to their own favourites like Fortnite. Friends and partners can get competitive, besting each other and fellow gamers in multiplayer Super Smash Bros or create their own fantasy dream team for ultimate victory in FIFA.
Inside POWER UP, visitors can navigate between 20 themes and sections. They can pick from their favourite franchise-centred games from Disney to LEGO, jump from a generation of Mario, Sonic or Zelda to the next, or challenge friends and fellow gamers to Street Fighter IV competitions and driving races in Gran Turismo.
A fun-packed physical games area allows fans to (re)discover iconic games like Wii Sport, get active with Kinect games, explore the future of gaming through VR experiences, or strum on Guitar Hero and do a spot of Sega Bass Fishing.
A dedicated PC area features family favourites including Minecraft and classics like Monkey Island 2. Gamers can battle it out in Splatoon or test their sports skills with Madden NFL 2003 in the multiplayer zone, while 16 players can test their skills together in an action-packed multiplayer Halo 3 tournament, joining the same game on Xbox 360.
Accompanying information throughout POWER UP explores the science behind gaming, and a timeline wall illuminates iconic developments in gaming, enriching the learning experience. In its largest iteration at the Science Museum, the timeline of key consoles and games starts in the 1970s with the Binatone TV Master, and follows the evolution of game design and story-telling all the way up to the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox One.
POWER UP also spotlights the future of gaming. 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 award-winning new games.
The opening of POWER UP’s permanent home is celebrated today with the return of Gaming Lates. This special edition of the popular adults-only, after-hours Science Museum event features themed talks, playful workshops and fun-packed activities exploring the science of gaming and how play has the power to change minds, improve wellbeing and boost your brain. Visitors can enjoy discounted entry to Power Up, as well as explore the usual Lates highlights, including the chance to dance the night away under real rockets at our silent disco.
Sensory friendly sessions will give visitors the opportunity to enjoy POWER UP in a quieter environment, with an adult-only evening session on Saturday 18 November, and family sessions on Saturdays 23 September and 28 October 2023.
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.