This paper contributes to the developing body of videogame exhibition knowledge by evaluating the methods utilised within informal and formal contexts of videogames exhibition from the perspective of reception theory. The study of both large-scale exhibitions such as those by the Victoria and Albert museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum alongside the one-night indie game night is a unique contribution to the field, with studies typically focussing on one given context. Reception theory and the hermeneutic circle provide lenses through which the active participative role of the player/reader in meaning-making can be evaluated. Exhibition method analysis across formal and informal contexts allows modelling of a connection between the need for player/reader specialist knowledge and the resulting co-participation in meaning-making possible. These models suggest the ways that exhibition methods and settings can shape audience profiles and the potential for co-participation. The results of this study may provide curators and game developers with alternative modes of thinking about player/reader meaning co-participation across exhibition and audience contexts.