History of Video Games is a pop-up gaming arcade where you can play old video games on the original machines, for an all-you-can-eat fee. Run by Future Artists, a self-described “arts collective” based in Manchester, it opened in June and runs for another week (til Sunday 12th August) in a non-descript retail space in Ocean Terminal in Leith.
The darkened room has nearly 100 games from over 30 years and a classic Eighties soundtrack playing in the background as you get sweaty palmed, twiddling away on those machines.
We accidentally came across History of Video Games while killing time in Ocean Terminal before a Sunday outing to The Boardwalk roller skate rink downstairs. I have to admit it was a weird and welcome shot of nostalgic fun to be playing ancient games like Mortal Kombat, Space Invaders or Galaga, with all their glorious jaggy graphics, with my kids while Spandau Ballet, Soft Cell, Talk,Talk and the like blasted out in the background.
As well as banks of classic arcade games like Pac Man, Crazy Taxi, Asteroids, there’s vintage consoles to choose from and handhelds kicking around on tables here and there.
One part of the room has a spacious layout with couches, where two of you can sit and play games. There’s a Nintendo Switch console with the latest Mario Kart game and also Fifa 18 on a PS4 projected onto a large screen.
Many of my recent kids days out activities have had quite an educational and historical flavour to them (e.g. Surgeons' Hall Museum). Not surprisingly, this was the one activity my 9-year-old has been urging me to take him back to.
As far as pricing goes it’s worth reiterating that once you’ve paid admission, there’s no coin required to play any of the games. The listed admission prices are for 3-hour sessions which can be booked ahead. There are hourly rates listed at the door if there’s still space inside. There’s a limit of 50 people.
First floor of Ocean Terminal, next to White Stuff, near Debenhams
There are two sessions a day, 12-3pm and 3-6pm with a limit of 50 people per session.
Book online https://www.fatsoma.com/future-artists-edinburgh
Joust, Black Tiger, Pac Man, Track & Field, Defender, Virtual Tennis, Spy Hunter, Robocop, Wonder Boy, Street Fighter 2, Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Marble Madness, Out Run, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Paper Boy, Double Dragon,Star Wars, Asteroids, Crazy Taxi, Bubble Bobble, Mortal Kombat 2, Rolling Thunder, SEGA Megatech, After Burner, Ghouls n Ghosts, House of the Dead, Operation Wolf, Earth worm Jim, Sonic the hedgehog, Super Mario, Guitar Hero and more...
Future Artists' Facebook page has a list of current games in the arcade.
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