The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines – A blast from the past
When visiting St Petersburg, there is a terrific amount of sights to see, and it is unlikely that you will be able to go to every single tourist site in the city if you are not staying for long. I have found that I can sometimes be weighed down by the amount of museums there are, but I found a welcome change in the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines!
The atmosphere of this museum is very different to that of the Hermitage and the Russian Museum. Located on Конюшенная Площадь (Konyushennaya Ploshad), right next to the church of Our Saviour on the Spilt Blood, entering the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines is really like stepping back through time into an arcade during the Soviet era, a very welcoming change of scene from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding area! The museum has a twin in Moscow and, even though the Soviet Arcade Machine Museum in St Petersburg only opened in June 2013, it already has over 40 machines to choose from! The atmosphere is very special as the older generation often visit the museum to enjoy a sense of nostalgia, while the younger generations can see what games their parents were brought up with (it is amazing to see the difference between these arcade games and the games on offer for today’s youth!). In short, you can feel the happiness of everyone inside as you walk through!
There are other parts to the museum as well. You can read all about the history of Soviet arcade games and learn about how they gained an incredible amount of popularity, but ultimately lost out to the technological advancements of the 20th century. There are also Soviet soda water machines dotted around the museum if you need to regain some energy before you start playing again! For 350 roubles, you are given 15 tokens, allowing you to have 15 attempts at any game you want to play! These include my favourite, Морской Бой(Sea Battle, where you sink enemy ships to gain points), Снайпер-2 (Sniper-2, basically target practice!) or two-player games such as Баскетбол (Basketball, the aim being to shoot the ball into your opponent’s net).
So if you tire of the museums, palaces and cathedrals on offer all over St Petersburg, don’t hesitate to drop by the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines. It is truly a unique experience which you are unlikely to find anywhere else. It does not matter how old you are, the games are there for anyone and everyone to enjoy!