Although taking a while to catch on in the 1980s, video gaming is now a huge part of Berlin pop culture, with the German market outpacing that of the UK. Worldwide popular games to come out of Germany in recent years include Far Cry, the Crysis series, and Dead Island 2. And for those interested in the history of gaming, there is of course a museum for that.
Gamers of all levels will experience euphoria after stepping into this geek haven on Karl-Marx-Allee, which is dedicated to vintage and modern consoles, games, arcade machines, and gaming merchandise. Even those with no particular interest in gaming will be amazed by the sheer amount of incredible memorabilia stashed away into this compact space, with over 300 exhibits to explore, most of them being interactive and playable for absolutely free.
The museum was founded in 1997 and was the first institution of its kind hosting a permanent exhibition on digital entertainment. Since then, it has attracted tourists and enthusiasts from all over the globe; even director of Konami/Kojima Productions, Hideo Kojima, and Apple founder, Steve Wozniek, have visited to the museum and signed their own pictures, now residing on the museum’s ‘Wall of Fame’.
The layout of the museum itself adds to the experience as exhibits are stacked in boxes made of glass and coloured plastic, creating the illusion of pixelated walls. There is a small arcade room containing vintage machines such as Space Invaders and Centipede with walls adorned with neon signs, emulating the feel of the real 1980s arcades. There are even artificial ‘bedrooms’ and ‘living rooms’ built into the back of the museum, decorated in 80s and 70s styles, where you can sit and play vintage games with all the comforts of home. Particularly amusing is the decoration of the bedrooms; comics strewn everywhere, star wars posters on the walls, models figurines lurking on shelves.
Highlights of the museum include a number of computer prototypes including the Odyssey, the Vectrex, the PET 2001, and the 1977 version of the first apple computer. Gaming aficionados will enjoy trying their hand at extremely rare Atari games, while less intense gamers can literally climb onto a giant joystick and navigate their way with two hands around the PAC-MAN maze.
Karl-Marx-Allee 93A, 10243 Berlin | Mon-Sun 10am-8pm