Computerspielemuseum, Berlin

Welcome to the second of my posts reporting back on our trip to Berlin. The Computerspielemuseum (computer games museum) was second on our ‘must visit’ list after the Zoo. As a young child I was not totally sold on games and consoles (with the exception of Tetris on the Game Boy of course) but as an adult I have cultivated a love of computer games that any 12-year-old boy would be proud of.

One of Berlin’s more alternative museums, this one has its home on the huge and imposing Karl Marx Allee, very close to where we were staying in Friedrichshain. Arriving before the museum opened, we wandered around a nearby graveyard and enjoyed a cup of coffee in the sun.

Being a bit of a traditionalist, I didn’t want to take any photographs inside the museum, but it was pretty much as you would expect it to look – a modern space with a slightly industrial feel, a colour scheme of greys combined with acid neon, and everything wall mounted in squarish boxes. All of the interpretive text was written in German and English, with a concise and engaging style and plenty of high quality images and quotes.

The range of interactive exhibits is really impressive, including a small arcade containing original working machines which are playable for free. I was particularly impressed by an entire wall dedicated to groundbreaking games both good and bad, which could be previewed by aiming and firing at the relevant item using a joystick.

Though the majority of the interpretation had a global focus, due attention was paid to gaming during the GDR in the form of Poly-Play – a colossally expensive arcade machine with a variety of games. The one I chanced upon had me shooting deer in a rather sparse coppice. Enchanting.

We paid about 13 euro for two tickets (1 adult, 1 student) and it was worth every penny. A unique experience and very enjoyable – my face on this embarrassing photo with the life-size Link says it all.

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