Generation ZX(X) brought together performance, historical accounts, oral histories and developer interviews, video and arcade games, and live music. It was structured as a four-part experience: a promenade performance, a play party, a film projection, and a musical performance. The event took place on the 4th May 2018, in Camperdown Park, and at the JTC Furniture Group – the former Timex Camperdown factory.
In 1993 the TIMEX Factory in Dundee closed its gates after more than 7 months of painful strikes. TIMEX is still remembered for those bitter last months rather than the near five decades of economic growth and activity. In the 80’s, on the TIMEX assembly lines, the ZX 81 and the ZX Spectrum computers were manufactured. The ZX Spectrum made its way into the houses of Dundee, its capacity to be programmed eventually gave rise to the phenomenon known as bedroom coding.
Despite the fact that it was the women of TIMEX who worked on the assembly lines, building and testing the computers, it was their sons and husbands who learned how to work them: the vast majority of early game developers were men. The event was a thank you, from our generation to the ladies of TIMEX, who through their labour, and often unaware of their contribution, gave Dundee a new future: the video game industry.
The title draws attention to three core aspects surrounding the TIMEX factory in Dundee: the gender dynamics (the vast majority of the assembly line workers were women whereas the vast majority of early coders and game makers were men), the heritage of the ZX Spectrum (the manufacturing of the ZX Spectrum in Dundee contributed to the city’s strong video game industry and education), and its contribution to the rise of the technology-savvy generation Z (Abertay’s video games courses are the first and one of the best programmes in the world).
Event date: 4th May, 2018
Event time: 8PM-10:30PM
Event Location: Camperdown Park. Event starts with registration at 7:30 in front of Camperdown House.
The event is free but ticketed. Tickets available here
Generation ZX(X) is part of NEoN Festival 2018.
The project would not be possible without the help and support of:
NEoN Digital Arts Festival, Creative Scotland, Weave by Abertay, Abertay University, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Dundee City Council, JTC Furniture Group, Charlie Malone, TIMEX History Group, Alice Marra and Loadsaweeminsinging, Douglas Community Centre and Library, Communities Department – Dundee City Council, Dighty Connect’s Mosaic Group, John Carnegie and Alan Spence, The Dundee Rep, The DC Thomson Archives, The McManus Social History department and Collections Unit, and all the lovely ladies who shared their stories with me.
Creative Team Mona Bozdog, Dayna Galloway, Clare Brennan, Niall Moody, Robert Clark, Alice Marra
Video Game Development Joy Ajuong, Marc Philippe Beaujean, Robert Clark, Sean Connaghan, Courtney Kirk, Phillip McCafferty, Cara Pearson, Jordan Ross, Matthew Wallace