Manchester's Urbis center is currently running Videogame Nation, an exhibit following the evolution of British games, from the 1970s to today, presented through themed areas like a darkened arcade, a child's bedroom, and even a bus stop where visitors can play handhelds.

The show will run from May 14th to September 20th, with several special events planned for the coming months. Here's the organizers' description for the exhibit:

"From the British-made ZX Spectrum to the Nintendo DSi, discover and play old favourites and forgotten gems such as Jet Set Willy, Manic Miner and Sensible World of Soccer. Explore Lara Croft's worlds in Tomb Raider and understand why Grand Theft Auto has become one of entertainment's biggest British exports. Explore different gaming environments from the arcade game and sporting arena to interconnected multi-player games and virtual worlds.

The exhibition also examines the cultural impact of gaming, from its cleverly designed graphics and contemporary soundtracks as well as its darker side -- violent content and gaming addiction. With a high level of interactivity and strong historical narrative about the story of gaming, this exhibition is suitable for pros and novices alike."

Photos from the exhibit after the post break!

Game factoids, statistics ("38.2% of the UK population is an active computer gamer"), and quotes like these are scattered all over the exhibit's walls:

In one of the themed rooms, stadium seats placed over fake grass surround a monitor with a playable copy of Sensible Soccer:

My favorite portions of the show (from what I've seen in posted photos) are the walls that invite contributions, like this one featuring game covers drawn by attendees:

On this "Memory Wall", visitors can write down their video gaming memories on cards shaped like Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog's head, Adventure's dragon, and other characters, sticking them onto their favorite consoles:

[Photos via Heather Corcoran and Negative Gamer]