We kind of love finding YouTube videos without descriptions. It’s endlessly fun to try to piece together what the heck is happening. In the video above, it appears as if someone is playing the old Arkanoid video game on the massive LED screen in Seoul Square in South Korea’s capital. In fact, it looks like it might just be the world’s largest LED screen. Beyond that, your guess is as good as ours. What’s the high score? How many lives do you get? How close can you sit to the screen before your mom tells you that you’re going to go blind?
If you’re under thirty, computer games have always been a part of your life, but for us
old farts wise elders, we remember the first time we took hold of a joystick and moved a spaceship through an asteroid field, or ran a ravenous little yellow circle around a maze while being chased by ghosts. If you’re under twenty, you probably don’t even know what games I’m talking about.
Here’s your chance to learn. The Computer Game Museum has just opened in Berlin. The Computerspiele Museum, as it’s called in German, presents the history of gaming from its early days on room-sized computers in the 50s and 60s, through the arcade craze of the 80s and on up to today. There are even experimental installation pieces examining possibilities for the next generation of gaming, such as RaveSnake, an eight-player game controlled by cell phones via Bluetooth. The developers call this a new genre of “party games for the sidewalk.”
The museum has an archive of about 14,000 games, and some are set up so visitors can play them. According to a detailed article by Deutsche Welle, this is the second incarnation of the museum. It was previously open for a few years in the 90s before shutting down. In following years it created temporary exhibitions for other museums until it got a space of its own and opened on Friday.
In case you’re wondering, the screenshot is of Pong, a table tennis simulator that was one of the earliest games available to the general public, being released in 1972. That’s before even my time!
[Photo courtesy user Bumm13 via Wikimedia Commons]