As some of you may know, Vapriikki (the museum center of Tampere) is free between 3 and 6 pm on Fridays. Hannele, Aoi and I took advantage of this fine benefit and went there for a quick tour of the new games museum. Video games seemed like a cool Finnish-Japanese theme, as both countries are known to be good at making at least some sorts of electronic games.
The space we spent the most time in was the small arcade room with all the cool cabinets like Outrun, Puzzle Bobble and Defender. I was impressed by Hannele’s pinball skills. Aoi told me that in Japan, arcades are still common in shopping malls and such, whereas in Finland they are nearly extinct. I told her that there is one really good arcade in Helsinki, and that that arcade focuses mainly on Japanese arcade machines. (I highly recommend Sugoi for anyone actually reading this.)
Some other cool things at the museum were these living room exhibits where they had constructed a room for each decade of electronic gaming in Finland and a huge wall of dfferent gaming consoles from these eras (most of them Japanese). What was surprising to me was that Aoi had never seen the Western model of the NES (or Famicom as it is known in Japan). This didn’t stop her from having a pretty good handle of the controller when playing Super Mario Bros in the 90s living room, though.