Thursday, June 07, 2007

Soviet arcade games: wonderfully horrible

A group of Moscow geeks have opened a museum of Soviet-era arcade games. Wired News is sporting a gallery of the collection. The physical design of these things is incredible -- heroically ugly, radiating un-fun like a potato studded with razor-blade splinters. I want a laptop that looks like this.

From the late '70s to the early '90s, Soviet military factories produced some 70 different video game models. Based largely (and crudely) on early Japanese designs, the games were distributed -- in the words of one military manual -- for the purposes of "entertainment and active leisure, as well as the development of visual-estimation abilities."...

Last month, the four officially opened the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines in a Stalin-era bomb shelter under a university dormitory. Packed into two rooms are dozens of Soviet-made video game carcasses in various states of repair. Some work perfectly; others last for a few minutes, then fade. One common feature among them all is a lack of a high-score list.


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