While it may seem that some of Japan’s best gambling halls are already like museums, here is one officially branded. It’s called The Game Center Museum and it opened in Nagoya this month.
According to FNN, the museum has around 70 slot machines as part of its exhibition. This is not a museum, and All machines can be played after the entrance fee has been bombarded.
Available games include iconic retro titles like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Xevious, as well as music games from the Beatmania and Pop’n music
You can even play The Keisatsukan (also known) Police 911), a game I played around the turn of the century while waiting for my wife and then-girlfriend to finish working at their company in central Osaka. Gosh, the game was fun.
While the iterations of modern arcades began before World War II, they began to grow in the 1960s and 1970s when bowling allies, department store rooftops, and cafes became places where people could go to play. (For more information on the birth of Japanese gambling halls, see Kotaku‘s previous coverage. Or, if you want, snap and read the book I wrote on Japanese game centers. Or both!)
Arcades are struggling during the pandemic, with the face of Akihabara changing due to the shuttered game centers. After visiting the museum, I do hope people will also support their local arcade—or any game center, for that matter.
The Game Center Museum will run until August 29.