It’s difficult to determine whether I will actually have the heart/guts/wherewithal to scribe up what happened in Berlin with Andy S on 20th to 23rd April 2013. But one thing I would like to mention, for the record and for whatever sense of posterity I have is the Computer Game Museum.

Now it was completely by accident that I came across the museum; we decided to walk along Frankfurterallee all the way to Alex. The right hand side of the road looked more interesting than the left hand side and so we strolled on down. About two thirds of the way down, next to the Frankfurter Tor we saw a couple of bits of video game merchandise in a shop window and immediately this gets my attention. A three second look and we find out it’s actually a museum. Suddenly we have a Sunday activity!

About twenty-four hours later and there we are, at the museum. It cost me €8 and Andy a little less as he had a student card. As one might expect, there’d were loads of noisy (well, not _that_ noisy) exhibits and a great deal that was interactive. Immediately to our left were a trio of Amiga 500s, one of which was playing the original Lemmings. On the right was a wall mounted display of every single video game console there’s been since time immemorial.

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I’m sorry about the images – I don’t have the software on my devices that knits photos together for a panorama shot otherwise I would have done so. But as you can see, computers from the 1970s right the way through to today’s consoles. There are even some earlier devices from the 1950s and 1960s as free standing devices elsewhere in the museum but I didn’t snap them.

Anyhoo, the museum isn’t all that big – say 300 square metres of space dedicated to the history of video games (including arcade games), the music, the graphics, the peripherals, the growth around the world, the German contributions (especially the magnificent Rainbow Arts & Manfred Trenz) and there was a special on Lara Croft.

Tucked away in the corner of the museum was a little penny arcade where there were some of the classic Arcade game cabinets, lovingly restored. There was Donkey Kong (pictured), Pac Man, Galaga, Space Invaders et al.
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The peripheral section was interesting, showing some of the devices used to play games over the years. Not surprisingly folks, there was an abundance of Nintendo devices though other system formats were supported/displayed. My favourite was the exercise bike used to play some PS3 car game; the faster you rode the bike, the quicker the car went.

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And next to that was an Atari 2600 with…well…this attached.

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I have no idea why the joystick was that big but it was functional. The idea was to climb it and try and play Pac-Man.

The Lara Croft special exhibit was a corner dedicated to her role in video games, presumably because there was a new game just out and not just to please the fan boys who drool over the size of her chest. All of her games were on machines and were playable:

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There was also a device in the corner (not pictured) which was in effect a Milgram Experiment but with the other person present and instead of simulated pain, this was all too real. It wasn’t switched on but the sign above said if you ask staff nicely, they’ll do it for you. The idea of the machine is that you hold onto a grip which emits electric shocks, you get whipped by a wire and the first one to let go loses. *hunts*

Ah – it’s a Painstation or rather thanks to the arseholes good people at Sony, the Machine formerly known as a Painstation. Perhaps not for me.

The obligatory shop was cute but they didn’t have items I haven’t already seen in Forbidden Planet other than the t-shirts (ironically not in XL) and the books were all in German so couldn’t maybe try one of them. I dumped all my loose change (several Euros worth) into the donation box and left a very satisfied customer. So if you’re in Berlin and stuck at a loose end, why not pop along to the east and try the Computer Game Museum: and as the German character Turrican says:

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