Opening of the World of Warships games room aboard HMS Belfast


The game room was developed in collaboration with Wargaming, the computer game maker behind the historically accurate naval fighting game World of Warships, which now includes two iterations of HMS Belfast from WWII and the 1950s.

The facility allows players to play World of Warships and World of Warships: Legends on powerful gaming PCs and video game consoles. The games have registered over 50 million player accounts from around the world and allow players to pilot hundreds of historic ships as part of real-time combat strategy and gameplay.

HMS Belfast is a city-class light cruiser commissioned in 1936 and launched in 1938. It served throughout World War II, including escorting Arctic convoys. It participated in other fighting during the Korean War before being disarmed in 1963. It was transferred to the property of the Imperial War Museum in 1978.

Recent renovations include new exhibit spaces and exhibits and uncover stories from crew members. Game content available at the World of Warships Command Center is based on historical documents and blueprints from the first half of the 20th century, including information about HMS Belfast itself.

HMS Belfast Chief Curator Rob Rumble told Naval Technology: “I have been heavily involved in refitting the ship, updating displays and interpretation and have tried to bring more of stories about the sailors who served in Belfast and the conflicts that the ship was in. implied.

“The ship had many functions, mainly it was a weapon of war, but there is also more than that. It was a home for seafarers, it was a symbol of British power and prosperity, and as such, flew the flag of Great Britain in various ports around the world.

“It’s a real mix on board of heavy technology, war machines interspersed with hammocks, galleys, infirmaries, officers’ dining rooms. We believe that the stories that relate to these different spaces offer our visitors a balanced variety of tones, from the serious conflicts in which Belfast has been involved, to the lighter and more absurd; Christmases, holidays. the line crossing ceremony where King Neptune greets the new young sailors who cross the equator. All of these elements that have made life aboard sailors and made Belfast their home.

HMS Belfast’s head of retail and brand licensing, David Fenton, explained that Wargaming had approached the Imperial War Museums about the collaboration.

“Because HMS Belfast was already in the game we had a great response from everyone in the museum saying this is exactly the sort of thing we are looking forward to, to add something to people who come to edge, ”he said. noted.

“It’s an honor to be able to say that you can play the ship in the ship game. There won’t be a lot of places where you can do this. We’ve been in discussions with Wargaming for over two years and were planning on having a playroom before the pandemic in the summer of 2019, and then it all slowed down, so it’s great that we can finally do that. ”

Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi added: “Over the past year we have had the privilege of working with and supporting naval museums around the world during an extremely difficult time. We are delighted to be able to add a new dimension to the already incredible offerings aboard HMS Belfast and look forward to seeing this historic warship delight and educate visitors once again.

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