Like kisses, cars and CDS everyone remembers their first games console. For me, it was a SEGA Mega-Drive – a black lump of plastic that sat on top of the little TV in the bedroom so the main one in the living room was free for other televisual pursuits such as… watching TV?
Like kisses, cars and CDs your first games console say a lot about who you are (were?) as a person. For instance, you now know I feel a sense of nostalgia for time when you could overcome life’s problems by jumping on them as well as having a fondness for brightly coloured, fast-moving rodents (although I was always Tails, such is the burden of being the younger sibling).
But why am I sharing all this with you, dear Readers? It’s because during my Berlin Adventures I paid a visit to the Computerspeilemuseum and no, you don’t get any points for translating this one correctly! So, let’s select our character and get on with the adventure!
Although my first console was a Mega-Drive, the one I was most attached to -quite literally- was the handy hand-held gaming device, the Gameboy. Why did I have such an attachment to this one in particular? I had to catch ’em all!
It’s a game I’m still playing now, with an invincible army of Eevees in all its different forms. It was quite surreal to see something that was such a massive part of my childhood quite literally as a museum piece. It was also interesting to see this in the wider computer game context.
The Computerspielemuseum has some classic pieces in its collection, such as an original arcade version of the game Pong. Pong is one of the earliest computer games, it was released by Atari in 1972 and became a smash hit. You might be thinking:
“Why on earth would they name it after a bad smell?”
This is when a bit of context comes in handy. Pong is based on table-tennis. Table-tennis is also known as ping-pong.
I suppose Pong sounded better than Ping…
Amazingly, you could play on this original arcade version if you book in advance, but unfortunately I only discovered this when I got there. No need to worry though, as there are PLENTY of other games you can play.
I thought that this was a really effective way of balancing conservation concerns with the basic function of computer games; they were designed to be played!
I loved my visit to the Computerspielemuseum, and it was definitely a highlight of my Berlin Adventure. This wasn’t a museum where things were behind a velvet rope, but rather one where the objects remained true to their original purpose; being played with. It was really refreshing to see a museum take this hands on approach, with even their most precious items.