If you thought the Video Card Museum of Kharkov was a geek paradise, than the Video Game Museum in Berlin is really gonna blow your mind. It features vintage hardware, interactive installations, and over 300 video games, including the first ever arcade game, Computer Space, released in 1971, which by the way was a total commercial failure.
The Video Game Museum was first opened for a brief period at the end of the 1990s, but was eventually closed down in 2000. The new museum opened in January 2011 and is located in an east Berlin building formerly occupied by Cafe Warsaw. The exhibits in this geeky museum aim to document all the aspects of video games, including graphics, hardware, music, storylines, etc, since 1951 to current day. Apart from tracking the evolution of video games, the museum also explores the effects gaming has had on modern society, from positive ones like social networking to negative, like addiction and video-game-inspired violence.
One of the museum walls is covered with over 50 handheld and home video-game consoles, dating back to 1951. Gaming enthusiasts will recognize the Commodore 64, the Game Boy, and the 1990′s popular Super Nintendo, displayed in neon green cases. It also features the world’s first home video-game console, invented by a Ralph Baer, during the 1960s. It was called the “Brown Box”, and it was the prototype for the home gaming system known as the Magnavox Odyssey console. Baer, who is now the patron of the Video Game Museum, thinks kids nowadays with their PSPs, Xbox 360s and PS3 consoles take modern games for granted and need to know how gaming began and how far it has come since the days of Atari’s legendary Pong.
In another part of the museum we find the Wall of Game Milestones, with over 50 extraordinary games that have influenced the industry with their graphics, music, or genre. Among these are the legendary Pac-Man, Street Fighter 2 or Sonic the Hedgehog, but also more obscure video games like Balance of Power, released in 1985, which was included because it was the world’s first ever video game with a political theme.
So if you’ve always wanted to know things like who invented the Commodore 64, who did the music on Donkey Kong, or who developed some of the games that marked your childhood, head over to the Video Game Museum of Berlin for an eye-opening experience and a trip down memory lane.