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From the Comrades that Brought You Tetris... But Only If You Have 15 Kopek
August 4, 2011 3:47 AM   Subscribe

Soviet era arcade remains full functionally in Armenia. While Funspot is impressive, check out this working arcade in Gyumri, Armenia.

While these Russian hipsters are restoring Soviet-era video games in Moscow [previously previously], they've got nothing on this 70-year-old woman and the arcade that survived an earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people in 1988.

Gyumri, still suffering from the effects of the earthquake 25 years later (poor timing - the USSR collapsed soon after, then there was a war... restoration efforts were impacted), lacks in activities for young people. This arcade has become a local refuges for kids as well as a destination for the occasional adventure-seeking tourist.

[Bonus points if you can spot Nu Pogody in the arcade!]
posted by k8t (21 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
From a manual from the military, these games were created: “for the purposes of “entertainment and active leisure, as well as the development of visual-estimation abilities.”"
posted by k8t at 3:51 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Online simulation of Морской бой from the seventh link, the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games.
posted by XMLicious at 4:31 AM on August 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am genuinely delighted by the fact that the strength tester simulates pulling a turnip.
posted by sonascope at 4:39 AM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Awesome!

This video (YT) is kind of annoying, but has video of what appear to be the same driving and submarine games as are in the Armenian arcade.

And here is more video of Морской бой.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:42 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I apologize for the typos... Early morning.
posted by k8t at 4:44 AM on August 4, 2011


I must say, what beautiful children.
posted by Tarumba at 4:44 AM on August 4, 2011


On the photographer's Facebook there was a photo from an arcade (maybe not this one) with packs of cigarettes as the prize in the Claw game.
posted by k8t at 4:48 AM on August 4, 2011


I've played some of these games in the game room at santitoriums in the Former USSR. I've never seen so many in one room before though.
posted by k8t at 4:49 AM on August 4, 2011


I am terrified by that human-chipmunk hybrid mascot. Who can concentrate on a game with that thing watching you? I bet it gets closer and closer to you while you are hunched over the console. Restoring this arcade will require blood and souls, I am thinking.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:32 AM on August 4, 2011


Морской бой was fucking everywhere growing up in Leningrad. I can still remember the rubbery smell of the periscope.
posted by griphus at 6:45 AM on August 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am genuinely delighted by the fact that the strength tester simulates pulling a turnip.

It's from a folk tale!
posted by griphus at 6:48 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am genuinely delighted by the fact that the strength tester simulates pulling a turnip.
It's from a folk tale!

No way, they totally stole that from Super Mario Bros. 2!
posted by Theta States at 7:22 AM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


There was an American version of that periscope game that looked and played exactly the same. Haven't seen one in years though.
posted by puny human at 8:48 AM on August 4, 2011


It was called Sea Raider, distributed by Midway. Here's a video of it in action, taken apart.
posted by griphus at 8:50 AM on August 4, 2011


That's it. Thanks griphus.
posted by puny human at 8:54 AM on August 4, 2011


And that child grew up to become the first cosmonaut to land on Mars!
posted by benito.strauss at 9:12 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here is a better view of the “Turnip Strength Tester” (“Репка Силомер” or “Repka Silomer”).
posted by exogenous at 9:18 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awesome stuff. It would be interesting to see the guts - what sort of processors were being used, what sort of memory, etc. And the code. One imagines really basic components and some super clever software.
posted by three blind mice at 10:13 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Best comment:

Dear Armenian parents and grandparents,
Socks negate the utility of sandals.
Sirli,
Katy


QFT
posted by Decani at 11:04 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Katy = me ;)
posted by k8t at 11:08 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awesome stuff. It would be interesting to see the guts - what sort of processors were being used, what sort of memory, etc. And the code. One imagines really basic components and some super clever software.

In the mid-80s the company I worked for had some Russian customers come in for a tour of the engineering facility. They were allowed to see all of the 6803 (8-bit)-based equipment but we had to put tarps over all of the 68000-based stuff we had. How they were supposed to divine the workings of a microprocessor simply by looking at was unknown but nevertheless we covered them up.

I assumed they had 8-bit CPUs but still hadn't gotten hold of 16/32-bit ones. Of course, such conversations were not on the agenda so we never found out for sure.
posted by tommasz at 2:19 PM on August 4, 2011


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