'What do you mean: "my eyes will go funny if I spend too long on these things"?!?'
Previously on this blog we wrote a piece about America’s Museum of Play, and how it must be one of the coolest museums in the world for kids.
Thing is, there’s another aspect to it that we quite neglected to mention. Which is the bit for the semi-grown-up adults of a certain age; a grotto of the irresistible nostalgia; a veritable wonderland of bleeps and bings and zaps and kerpows and biddledy-bongs.
By this, we mean the collection of hundreds upon hundreds of vintage-to-present-day arcade machines, video games and pinball tables. Rows and rows of them. For you to play on.
At 1980’s prices. That’s about 10p a go.
There’s Pong, and Kong, and Pacman and Ms Pacman. There’s Asteroids, and Space Invaders (of course), and the fiendish Zaxxon, and Track & Field, and Defender, and Missile Command, and Frogger, and Galaga and… well, you get the picture.
There are all the pinball tables you remember from your mis-spent youth, from the Addams Family back to Hercules (the largest table ever made). You can drift from one to another at your leisure – we were there during a rainy day on the school holidays, and there was plenty of room for everybody.
And you can bore your kids by lecturing them about the wonder of early electronic games, and how their iPad is all very well, but it’s just not quite the same if you don’t have to plug something into your black and white telly and are restricted to a flickering left/right/fire thing.
We’re board game people at heart, and are all for getting people away from the screen. So you can put this down to the guiltiest of pleasures on our part; a pilgrimage to discover a slice of our social history.
And we’ll leave it with this thought: WE NEED A UK MUSEUM OF PLAY!!!