While the headbugz-team went for a short vacation field trip to German capital Berlin, we could not help ourselves not to pay a visit to a seldom attraction: a museum, solely devoted to computer games. I am sure that this might not seem as much of a novelty for most Americans (heck, you even got a Science Fiction Museum in Seattle!) it is certainly not taken for granted that gaming culture finally gets the attention and respect it – we think – deserves.

Apart from the idea being great, the exhibition is thoughtfully assembled, interactive as well as informative. E.g. there is a Wall of Hardware where one can reminisce about which console made it or not, …

… and an interactive timeline of popular games from the 70s till today – also, lots of hands-on experience, for example the text-based adventure ZORK which I had only read about but got totally hooked on instantly.

Another exhibit is the famous PainStation

The game is an adaptation of the classic “Pong”. If the player misses a ball, he or she will be subjected to one of three physical penalties (heat, electric shock, whipping), depending on which symbol the ball hits. Instead of hitting the ball in order to attain the highest score, the player has to avoid missing the ball in order to avoid being penalised. Physical punishment is an integral part of the game. The player loses as soon as he or she removes his or her left hand from the related surface.

We were too chicken to try, but lol’d at the people playing and getting electrical shocks. Uh, yeah. That sounds like excellent education, doesn’t it?

They also have a Jumbo Joystick which actually works. You can play Pacman with it, but it’s a real challenge.

If you would like to visit the museum, I’d recommend you to come on a monday. The entrance fee is a little higher, but this is when they bring out the good stuff for a few hours only, like this nifty thingy.