Nerding Out in Mother Russia: The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines
A lot of people just think traveling is all adventure and good times, well I’m hear to tell you it can take a major toll on the heinously important things in your life. In one aspect specifically it almost erased one of my identifying characteristics, a source of my life blood, that of a gamer. That’s right, jumping between hostels, flights, and foreign lands you don’t have a lot of X-box time to get in some beatings on Halo or even teach a couple of new friends some lessons in Mario Kart. You’re lucky if you see a game console once out of 6 months. Most people don’t know once upon a time I was a video game QA tester. That’s why when I stumbled across the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines in Moscow, Russia it was like an oasis in the gaming desert that was my life.
Not only was this an arcade, but every machine in the place dated back to the times when Russia was still the Soviet Union. Yep, it was all vintage Soviet arcade machines from the 80’s. The interesting thing is the machines don’t run on the new currency, so when you get in the building before you play you have to exchange a couple dollars for the old-school currency still branded with C.C.C.P. on every coin. As soon as I found a coin from my birth year I pocketed that bad boy as a souvenir.
Also, if the vintage coins weren’t enough, there is a vintage Soviet soda machine that still works. The soda concoction it pours out is pure secret of the ooze sugar explosion sauce. This stuff probably stopped selling mainstream because it was either illegal for causing cancer or super powers or it simply rotted people’s teeth out on the first sip. Basically, it was delicious.
Now to the important stuff, the games. The vintage games were cheap as chips, awesome, and kept up in pretty solid condition. I would advise to bring a friend, because the multitude of two player games makes it a pretty fun group experience/friendship destroyer. Luckily my buddy Ian from Borderless Travels was with me and the friendly competition was off to a quick and merciless start.It felt only right to give Ian the upper hand by starting with a hockey game since he is Canadian, but for Ian that is where the ass whoopings began. I won’t say it wasn’t fun for the both of us, but clearly one us was having a little more fun (me baby, me).
We moved on to sniper games where you actually aimed at moving targets in the machine, very cool. Next it was Soviet pinball and tug of war. No arcade experience is complete without some F1 racing and I have to admit Ian stole a few games from me on this guy.
There were even a couple of Cold War submarine games where I got to sink some of those dirty Capitalist American scum…wait a minute. Who cares, it was good times.
All in all, this is an off the beaten path destination that is worth a peek. After immersing yourself in the endless art masterpieces, cathedrals, and landmarks saturating Moscow the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines is a nice little break. This is definitely Shameless Traveler approved. Until next time, may your joy sticks have tight action, your aim be true, and your tokens be endless. As always- ST